YUSU and N-Dubz’s manager respond to Summer Ball headline cancellation

YUSU and N-Dubz’s manager have today issued statements, responding to student frustration over the fact that the headline act for this year’s Summer Ball pulled out.

In the statement, which was released from all Sabbatical Officers, YUSU stated that N-Dubz had been booked since the 14 April this year, and that since then and the day of the ball they have had “a number of communications confirming the details of the event”. They continued to explain that confirmation that N-Dubz was still playing was given by their agent at both 11am, and 2pm on the day of the ball itself, and that at 9.10pm the manager of the group informed YUSU that they would not be performing at the ball and “would not explain why”.

YUSU claim that they then tried to find a suitable replacement for the headliner, but that it was not possible given the time frame. They have since been informed by the band’s manager that one of the members was unwell and unable to perform. YUSU has responded by asking for a doctor’s certificate to verify the claims made.

YUSU finished by saying that whilst they themselves are “clearly not at fault”, they apologise and share in the frustration of students, adding that “contracts always tend to be weighted in the artist’s favour and sadly some artist’s choose to take advantage of this”.

Despite remarks by some students suggesting that a partial refund should be given, this issue was not addressed in the Union’s statement.

Gary Howard, N-Dubz’s manager has commented, stating that “On the day of the show a member of the band became ill”, and that “while it was first thought that the situation would go ahead the situation became worse to the point where the band were unable to perform”.

The full statements from YUSU, Gary Howard and access to the contract between YUSU and the band can all be found on www.yusu.org.


  1. Dappy, a ‘2-foot, dancing baby’s hat’


  2. That is such a terrible response form the agent. Clearly just knocked off in an email in 1 minute, it answers no questions, it isn’t even written on headed paper. Poor response from a professional body.


  3. “Clearly not at fault”.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


  4. Yeah, I am sure this illness amounted to no more than a hangover or *

    *comment edited by moderator


  5. 3 Jul ’10 at 7:09 pm

    YUSU keeps messing up.

    Nobody else gets cancelled on this often.

    So YUSU is doing something wrong.

    Full stop.


  6. They’re just unlucky… one of the two. Whatever the case, harsher cancellation penalties must be enforced so that all these acts don’t walk all over YUSU. Until then, Derwent JCRC can organise my social life.


  7. York rarely gets class acts, unlike our counterparts in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester etc, so I think YUSU really need to make an effort. Ndubz was an alright choice, but even then they pulled out. sickness is a feeble excuse tbh.

    I think next time we should be a bit more classy. Hire a jazz band/ DnB DJ or a band that actually plays decent music, rather than generic pop rubbish & sell-out musicians. Cheeky girls at freshers ? Really ?


  8. @Next Idea:
    spot on. A high quality but lesser known jazz or swing band would be far more appropriate for a formal occasion like this. Do we really want to crush into a sweaty dance floor in our ballgowns and tuxedos where everyone is trying to get closer to the front (LOOK! FAMOUS PEOPLE)?

    This summer ball, like so many of the Racecourse balls that have been put on during my time at York, has been severely misjudged. What exactly was the logic of booking acts like Wiley and NDubz when there is no black music scene in York apart from the basement of Gallery, one night a week? Is it simply that those were the most famous acts YUSU could book on their budget? If any famous act should have been booked then I agree with other posters on Nouse that it should have been either an indie or d’n’b band (although I hate d’n’b for the mindless shite that it is) – YUSU don’t seem to care about their demographic. If I were in NDubz I wouldn’t be arsed to perform at York Summer Ball either. Everyone I know went to it because it was a graduation ball, and were pretty indifferent (at best) about NDubz.

    Also a word on 5ive – they were god awful. Just really really terrible. It was like really bad karaoke, except worse, because they were really into it because they seemed to think they were an authentic act. I would be embarrassed if they performed at a club-night but a graduation ball? It just lacked any semblance of class. Why bother hosting an event at the Racecourse if you’re just going to fill it with crap like that.

    Big D consistently delivers where the Summer Ball tries but fails to deliver – and therein lies the problem. For those who want a big pissed up night with bands and lots of fun little things to do, Big D is there. For those who want a formal occasion where they can have a meal, say goodbye to friends and just have a nice evening of it, there is nothing; the Summer Ball hasn’t ever been organised as something like that.


  9. @ Or

    Derwent JCRC don’t organise Big D, the Big D Committee do. Different people mostly.


  10. 4 Jul ’10 at 1:05 am

    institutional memory

    Has everyone really forgotten this already? http://www.nouse.co.uk/2009/03/19/exclusive-egm-on-summer-ball-location-confirmed/

    When they tried to change it there was uproar


  11. @ Bute

    The Big D Committee is a sub-committee of Derwent JCRC. The event is written into its constitution to be organised by Derwent vice-chairs, who answer to Holly – so it kind of is organised by Derwent JCRC, even if positions are thereafter delegated to non-JCRC members. Plus, my reference to Derwent JCRC wasn’t solely regarding Big D, I also meant all the Club D’s and city trips. So shhh :)


  12. For the price of Ndubz you could have booked several better acts that actually turned up. Also why the racecourse? Its such a poor choice of venue. Expensive to rent out and has even pricier drinks. Better to do it on campus for cheaper tickets, cheaper drinks and happier students. Plus that way you can spend more money on actually getting some really good headliners not a bunch of talentless jokers like Ndubz!


  13. I have to agree with max.

    I think maybe YUSU are trying to do too much in one event, and possibly spreading themselves too thin and therefore making cock-ups, and notable ones at that (huge acts pulling out year after year…)

    Personally, I don’t see why they’re planning to switch it from the race course onto campus in order to pour funding into acts- in my opinion that’s the wrong compromise to make. It’d be nicer to keep it in the nice (I assume, I’ve never been?) grounds of the race course, and use the extra money on different music…possibly orchestra/bands who WILL turn up, and will be decent for the main event. Maybe then YUSU/individual colleges could try and create an after party wherein they book ‘famous’ acts, so at least if they don’t turn up it hasn’t ruined the whole night/potentially some people’s graduations…


  14. “Also why the racecourse? Its such a poor choice of venue.”

    “Personally, I don’t see why they’re planning to switch it from the race course onto campus”

    Well this is constructive.

    Everyone who has been to the racecourse knows how bad it is as a venue. Even after the ridiculous prices that YUSU has to charge because of hiring, etc, the drinks there are over the top and the venue is crowded because only a few hundred can see the stage when a couple of thousand are at the event.

    Campus, on the other hand, has a massive venue and has the possibility of going to somewhere else if you don’t like it – NDubz in Central Hall AND Chase and Status in Derwent if you’d prefer them (or whatever). When YUSU tried to switch it before, people complained – but there is generally positive support for Dan’s moving to campus this year. We’ll just have to see how effective it is!

    The other problem is that the people who argued against campus last time were mostly people like “dddd” who called it “nice (I assume, I’ve never been?)” – perfectly making everyone else’s point in the process.

    The Racecourse is a terrible venue. The Barbican may become a nice venue – though we’ll have to wait and see – and the only other place that’s big enough is campus. We’ll see how Freshers’ goes and then assess that particular location afterwards – but there’s not exactly a decent selection of venues, unlike Leeds etc. We can’t use the Minster and we can’t pile 3,000 people into the Duchess so we have to cope with what we have.


  15. Statement from Marshall Arts Talent:

    “To be let down so late in the day is not something that […] your student union are in the habit of doing regularly”

    HA! Obviously haven’t done their research.


  16. 4 Jul ’10 at 1:03 pm

    Longer institutional memory.

    Jason is 100% right. The uproar against the move onto
    campus was based on ignorance. It’s easy to whip up
    a bit of hysteria via Facebook
    a petition – “Hey, everyone, they’re going to wreck our
    graduation ball! Let’s stop them!”. The old Graduation
    Ball on campus was like being in Brideshead Revisited
    (for anyone who gets the reference). Intimacy, and
    atmosphere, and poignancy. It was the kind of event
    which would make you look back on your university time
    with affection, even if someone happened not to have had
    a great time here until then. There is a unique ambience
    which surrounds the whole graduation-and-leaving period.
    Happiness at passing, nostalgia about moving on. Using
    the back of Hes Hall/topiary garden as part of the backdrop
    worked amazingly well. You wouldn’t think it would, but it
    did. Ask anyone who attended. And the acts were cleverly
    chosen so that kept all of the attendees a brilliant night
    but without costing a fortune and being based on celebrity
    acts who don’t turn up half the time. If you’re dressed up,
    and feeling pretty glamorous and suave, then a lively swing
    band is great (and pretty cheap), and you can have other
    kinds of music at different sites to please all tastes. And
    the fact that Central Hall has now been cleared as one of
    the possible sites would make campus a better venue still.
    Again, if you choose the right acts then they can give you
    what you want without blowing the budget, or not showing.
    It’s about intelligence. If you plan things properly you CAN
    square the circle of a good night, affordability, and reliable
    acts. Going for the biggest possible names at the biggest
    possible venue is just crude, lazy thinking. No imagination.
    And for anyone who doesn’t know: the racecourse has all
    the atmosphere of an Asda car park. Dan is thinking along
    the right lines for Freshers’ Week. Let’s hope these issues
    get thought through in a more considered way from now on.


  17. 4 Jul ’10 at 2:58 pm

    Fan of Charlotte Hogarth-Jones

    You agree with ~J? Doubt his bank manager would following the event he organised in Central Hall. Despite N-Dubz pulling out, I thought the event was spot on and I for one appreciate the amount of effort that went into organising it! I won’t be jumping on the YUSU haters bandwagon, instead, I’ll be focusing firmly on how highly I think of Charlotte Hogarth-Jones – another great article. God speed.


  18. 4 Jul ’10 at 4:21 pm

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they

    Hahaha. I agree, NDubz were a bad choice from the start, they are too ghetto and chavvy to perform in York. Do they even have any fans in York?

    I will be going into third year, and I guess the Class of 2011 will next to experience the disappointing grad ball.

    Who will be our headlining act be? S Club 7?? Bewitched? The members of Destiny’s Child who got kicked out? The fat girlw ho one the X-factor in 2003??? HAHAHAHAHAHAH.


  19. If the Ball were held in campus, how would you keep out the students who did not buy tickets?



  20. The same way you keep out students who didn’t buy tickets for Big D. Just barrier off any entrance/exit but 2, so that those that do have tickets can be filtered in and out, employ all of Doorsafe to keep out any people who do try to intrude and ask the Christian Union if they could man each barrier to ensure people without tickets don’t try to sneak through, paying them in pizza/reduced ticket prices so that they can enjoy the other half of the night when they’re not working. It’s by no means easy, but it’s definitely possible.


  21. 4 Jul ’10 at 11:19 pm

    Atilla the Hun

    Hire Madness. Suggs would make a great YUSU president.


  22. Madness = £100,000. Fact.


  23. 5 Jul ’10 at 11:49 pm

    Just wanna dance the night away.

    First off, the Barbican was always awful. It was terrible for gigs, worse when they were stand up and just miserable for Uni events. The place cannot be filled (much like the Roger Kirk), even when you sell out what fire saftey allows, it seems empty and smacks of school hall. Obviously the revamp could change all this but I’d be uber surprised.

    Second, events on campus are a great idea and can work and should be supported. I think freshers’ ball and maybe even a Christmas ball would be excellent if held on campus and done right. But for me, the Grad ball is the time to push the boat out and do something a bit special. I accept that in an ideal world there would be somewhere more special than the racecourse (and concede that the cost of drinks is a bit out of order), but there probably isn’t in York (with that capacity). There are plenty of opportunities to reminisce on campus after your exams and Big D affords everyone and their F5 fingers a chance to give campus a proper send off. But for that one night, the night you’ve tucked a hundred quid away for and got dolled up for, should offer a better view than a stinking lake and a concrete spaceship.

    Course it is expensive and YUSU should have a look at that, but it is the last time you’ll see a whole host of folks and in my opinion, having been 3 times now, I think the Racecourse offers a great send off for everyone. Obviously it would be better if the band showed up and YUSU sacked off inviting novelty celebs (Connor from Neighbours was a particular low for me).


  24. @Jason
    “We can’t use the Minster”
    But if we could that would be so epic, the ultimate act of secularisation in the name of entertainment! :D


  25. 6 Jul ’10 at 9:47 pm

    Daniel Linderman

    @Donald Duck

    One night of Madness vs Jane Grenville yearly earnings, or the expenses of Brian Cantor… the former is very tempting


  26. 6 Jul ’10 at 10:21 pm


    Here’s a cut and paste for anyone who hasn’t read this.

    By “Bashful” on the Vision board. Says it better than I could.

    “the whole event was terrible. the rides were the only thing of any value and certainly weren’t worth my £75. well done for managing to produce so many meals….but did it have to taste like crap or chew like boots? red carpet = joke, paparazzi = rip off, chocolate fountain = £5 novelty gift from argos, casino = tables could barely stand up let alone the croupiers, alcohol = one extreme or the other – too expensive or tasted like toilet water, entertainment = non-existent (although I did have a good bop along to 2wo)….all in all it was an absolute joke. it was a waste of time, money, energy and a clean shirt. I will be advising others not to bother with YUSU events and stick to the guys who can actually put an event together like Derwent. Hang your heads YUSU, you’ve ripped me off for the last time.”


  27. 8 Jul ’10 at 3:11 pm

    'The Big Dawg'

    It’s quite gutting, but not altogether unsurprising, given that I’ve heard that N-Dubz cancelled on other universities too. Surely a little market research can be done by the organisers of these events – talk to unions at other universities and see who was good and who was awful and who didn’t show up at all. I was at grad ball a few years ago for Bjorn Again, Alphabeat, Booty Luv and Tiao Cruz (interesting to see who is biggest out of that line up now!), and it was an alright night, the bands were generally pretty good, although not really my type of music. So it is possible, even at York.

    Secondly, I wish YUSU/JCRCs would get over hiring these awful novelty acts. I’m thinking….Westwood in Langwith last year (event was a bit of a flop), obviously 40% of 5ive and to a point I suspect N-Dubz were just got because people thought it would be funny to have them there (along with Wiley). Chesney at Big-D a few years ago is a bit different, he has a massive student following and just played rock/pop covers anyway. We’re never going to satisfy everyone’s eclectic musical tastes, I personally wouldn’t like an indie band any more than N-Dubz but at least they’d have a bit of a fan base here. If you’re going for novelty get a tribute band, there are plenty around that do a decent show and plenty of classic tunes that everyone knows.

    As for the venue, it’s been the same debate after the ball for years. Either move it to campus and do it really well or sort it out at the racecourse, either way stop keeping it the same when people obviously aren’t that happy with it!


  28. 9 Jul ’10 at 1:56 pm

    Benny and Agnetha.

    Bjorn Again, please.


  29. You should get the Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band if you can, now THAT would be awesome