Our friends at Pearl Events contacted us in early October about a big themed holiday party for their client, Facebook Austin, that was happening in December at The Fairmont. They asked us to create a compelling proposal showcasing some characters and activities for a 1970s/Studio 54 evening.
They let us know that they were designing the party to have a more elevated 1970s look & feel (not hippie) and that with over 2,000 expected attendees, keeping everyone engaged and entertained was their hope. Our goal was to bring the glitz & glamour of Studio 54 to life and to keep attendees delighted a surprised with the variety of entertainment offered. It was our job to show Pearl that we could think both inside and outside the box for this event.
Tarot Card Readers
Disco Ball Dancers
70s John Travolta
Gold Glam Stiltwalkers
Our first step was to create a list of offerings and characters we could imagine both fitting into the theme and surprising and delighting the attendees. For the Studio 54 theme, we wanted party goers to feel like they had stepped into a glamorous retro evening with touches of 1970s mysticism and wonder.
We proposed numerous different interactive offerings: an Andy Warhol screen printing station, tarot card readers, aura readers & aura photography, live fashion sketching of attendees in their 70s best, close-up magicians, and larger-than-life celebrity characters like Elton John, Cher, Liza Minnelli, and John Travolta.
And because we knew this was an elevated evening with serious party vibes, we pitched Go-Go Dancers to ignite the stages and dance floors and Stilt Walkers to welcome everyone into this epic event.
Once our client enthusiastically approved much of our proposal and their favorite performers, it was time for Kelly & Kaci, our producers, and costume connoisseurs, to head to the drawing board to design the costumes and aesthetics for the evening. We collaborated with DMC provider Pearl Events to make sure we matched the aesthetic of the decor.
ENTERTAINERS + COSTUMES
Our entertainment ensemble consisted of 19 entertainers. Eleven roaming performers: 2 stilt walkers, 2 close-up magicians, 2 celebrity characters (John Travolta on the dance floor and a Cher strolling table), and 5 dancers (3 1970s go-go dancers and 2 disco ball head dancers). Outside the ballroom, we had a cadre of station entertainers: 4 tarot card readers, 2 fashion sketch artists, and 2 aura readers. Our close-up magicians made sure those in line stayed entertained.
Each character’s aesthetic was based on a chosen color palette, and what their specialty skill was. The design of each costume piece was made to compliment their movements while not distracting from their performance.
Our stilt walkers wore bright, shimmery gold with sparkling sunset accent colors and lots of fun 1970s jewelry and hairstyles.
Our fashion artists created on-the-spot illustrations of party-goers in their 70s best while wearing black, gold, and silver clothing that was still easy for them to work in.
TAROT CARD & AURA READERS
Our tarot card and aura readers invited guests over to individual tables for intimate assessments, and so we went for sparkling vintage tops, bell bottoms, dresses, & head scarves alongside glittering bangles and hoop earrings.
Our five Go-Go dancers were in two categories: (1) powerful 1970s women in gold jumpsuits, heels, 70s accessories, and glam makeup and hair and (2) eye-popping Disco-Ball head wonders in textured silver full-body jumpsuits with classic white go-go boots.
Our John Travolta rocked a full-on Saturday Night Fever 3-piece suit, black patent platform shoes, gold chain, and an essential black wig. Our custom Cher strolling table merged Cher's gold gown into the table itself alongside iconic accessories.
Our magicians slipped through the crowd, finding guests waiting in lines and standing in clumps to entertainment with close-up magic. They wore vintage 1970s wide collar leisure suit shirts and gold accessories.
One of the things that we pride ourselves on is our ability to think on our feet and solve problems quickly. Due to various circumstances in contracting, we ended up with only 2 weeks once contracts were signed to cast and brief 19 very different kinds of performers and entertainers and have all custom costumes and fabrications ordered and made! Many items that couldn't be sourced online had to come from digging around in local vintage shops and the week of the event felt like a race to the finish line as communications with dozens of people ramped up.
The day of the event was cold, pouring rain making downtown Austin traffic even trickier than usual. But even with a few snafus, every single entertainer was ready and in costume by the event start time! Packing a labeled costume bag for every single entertainer and laying out a station of 1970s accessories in our green room that performers could pick and choose from made getting ready fun and easy.
We are not joking or exaggerating when we say that this was one of the most joyously fun and lively parties of the year! All of the entertainers plus Pearl Events' decor, food, drink, and musician vendors turned the night into a celebration to top all holiday celebrations. Over 2,000 people flooded into the spacious Fairmont Austin venue, where everything was clearly mapped up for them, giving them ample options for enjoyment for the total event time of 5 HOURS!
Our client was thrilled, calling us a "lifesaver" and telling us at the end of the night, "What would we have done without you?"
Our performers loved this crowd. Our client and attendees were pleased. We couldn't ask for more!