Birthday parties

Event FAQs

Here you can find the most frequently asked questions about our 50th birthday events. If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact us.

1- Ballot

Why are places for events being allocated in a ballot?

We decided to run a ballot to give everyone who wants to attend an event an equal chance of getting a place.

We would love to be able to offer places to all study members who would like them, but unfortunately we have a limited budget for these events and this means we may not be able to accommodate everyone.

Study members had two months to enter the ballot which closed on 31 May 23:59. Everyone who entered the ballot will now be included in a draw, which will allocate places at random.

Why is there not an event location closer to where I live?   

We have a limited budget for these events. To help us to decide which cities to hold the events in, we looked at where most study members are living. We also looked at which cities had the best public transport links. We’ve aimed to make the best use of our budget, but recognise that the locations won’t be convenient for all study members.

Can the study cover the cost of my travel to the events?

Tickets for the events are free, but you will need to pay for your own travel and accommodation.

2- Impact of COVID-19

In light of the ongoing situation, we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone the two September events in Edinburgh and Manchester as well as the ballot draw.

Why are the September events in Edinburgh and Manchester being postponed?

The health and safety of our study members and staff is our primary concern. Given the current guidance on large gatherings, and the risk that events will continue to be disrupted in September, we have decided to push back these events to next year when they will be more likely to be able to go ahead. We understand that this may come as a disappointment, but we are doing all we can to provide study members with a safe and enjoyable experience.

When will I find out more about the rescheduled Edinburgh and Manchester events? 

We are working out new dates for these events now and plan to update everyone as soon as we can.

What about the Bristol, London and Nottingham events?

We are still hopeful that we can go ahead with these but we will be monitoring the situation closely over the coming months.

Do I need to enter the ballot again?

No, you do not need to enter the ballot again if you would like your choices to stay the same.

I’d like to change my ballot choices – how do I do that?

Please email us at and we will change your ballot choices for you.

When will I find out if I’ve been successful in the ballot?

The ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the changes we now need to make, unfortunately means we’re unable to allocate tickets for the time being. We’re sorry to keep you waiting but we will be in touch again as soon as we can with an update and to let you know the outcome of the ballot.


3 – Once you have been offered a place

Will you cater for food allergies and dietary requirements?   

Yes. With advance notice, we will be able to cater for most food allergies and dietary requirements.

Once you have been offered tickets, we’ll ask you to tell us about any food allergies and dietary requirements for you and your guest on the event booking form. You can also add this information at a later date by logging back into the event booking form.

If you would like to speak to us about your dietary needs, please contact us.

We want to make sure the events are an enjoyable experience for everyone. Letting us know about your specific requirements in advance means we can make the right arrangements for you.

All events will include vegetarian food and non-dairy milk choices as standard.

Are the event venues accessible?

Yes, all the venues we’ve selected are accessible.

If you’re successful in the ballot, when you claim your tickets, we’ll ask you to let us know about any accessibility requirements you or your guest may have. You can also add this information at any time by logging back into your event booking form.

If you have any questions about the venues or would like to speak to us about your needs, please get in touch.

We want to make sure the events are an enjoyable experience for everyone. Letting us know about your specific requirements in advance means we can make the right arrangements for you.

Do you need to know my guest’s name?

We do not need to know your guest’s name but we will need to know if they have any special requirements relating to access or food allergies/dietary requirements.

If I can no longer attend what should I do? 

If something happens and you’re no longer able to make the event, if possible, we’d be really grateful if you could let us know. This may help us make places available to other study members and their guests.

Can I give my guest ticket to another study member?

We’re offering everyone who is successful in the ballot two tickets as we know some study members might like to bring a friend or relative with them. If you don’t need your guest ticket for a friend or relative, please let us know and we will make that place available directly to the next study member on the waiting list.

Why can cohort members only bring one guest?        

When we surveyed you last year, to find out how you’d like us to celebrate your 50th birthdays, the feedback was clear that many study members would like to bring a guest with them to any celebration. Unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity to offer places for more than one guest per study member.

Can children come to the events?

Yes, of course. Children are welcome to come as guests but please note there is no particular content designed for young audiences and no childcare provision. If you’re successful in the ballot, we’ll offer you two tickets – one for you and one for a guest.

4 – Attending the events

Is registration necessary? 

Yes. We will only have space for study members who have been offered tickets in advance and confirmed a place for themselves or their guests. Registration on the day is not possible unfortunately.

Can you recommend a hotel close to the venue?     

All of our venues are close to a range of hotels, but we don’t have a list of preferred hotels or recommendations

How do I find the venue?   

Directions (including details of nearby public transport) will be included in the confirmation email, but we recommend checking a map/online route planner when you plan your journey.

Does the event have car parking?

Car parking options will be included in the confirmation email once you have been offered a place. Unfortunately not all venues can offer free parking often due to their city centre location.

What should I do when I arrive at the venue? 

On the day, please arrive at the time shown on your confirmation email. One of our team will be on hand to greet you and sign you in. It will be helpful for us if you have your confirmation email (with QR code) open on your phone or printed off, but don’t worry if you don’t have this.        

Will there be a cloakroom at the events?

Our venues will have either a cloakroom or self service clothing racks. Please note that these may not be staffed and so items are left strictly at your own risk.

Who can I contact on the day of the event?    

If you have an urgent query on the day, please email us at

Do you let in latecomers?  

Yes, if you are running late or get delayed, please do still come along (it happens)!