Bops are one of Oxford’s most universally loved events. They are essentially large college parties that resemble cheesy school discos, only with copious amounts of alcohol.
Every college does them differently, though typically they’re held a handful of times each term to celebrate major occasions (like Freshers’ Week, Halloween, Christmas). These cheap, no-frills “nights in” come with the comfort that you’ll always know someone in the room.
Central to the success of bops are college’s freshly made bop juices. These magical concoctions are typically spirits combined with an assortment of fruit juices to produce a delicious, lukewarm sickly-sweet mixture all served up in a plastic cup. They may not be rooftop Cosmopolitans, but they’ll definitely do the job. With free or very cheap entry, and with bop juices costing as little as 50p a cup, you’ll be struggling to spend more than a tenner all night.
Bops are invariably fancy dress, though the themes vary dramatically from the ordinary to the plain bizarre. People make an art out of foraging, recycling, and mashing together outfits from anything and everything they can lay their hands on. Don’t be afraid to release your inner primary school child and get messy with cereal boxes and PVA glue.
Bops are traditionally held in college bars or function rooms. This means that you can experience all the chaos of a night out with only a short stagger back to your bedroom. There’s also no need to risk hypothermia queuing for entry in the sub-zero January temperatures. Some colleges do hold their bops at external venues however (smaller clubs like Fever or Plush). While these don’t have the same locality, the perks of a proper dance floor and better stocked bar should not be understated. So whether you’re a veteran clubber, or a newbie to the dance floor, bops have something for everyone. They’re a fun and safe environment to let loose from the academic pressures of Oxford life without the expense, effort, and exhaustion of a night out on the town.