Perfect Party Plan


Photo by wlodi — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

The end of August concludes a phase of both the festival and the party season. We’ve been hearing about (and attending) some of the month’s amazing festivals and parties, too.

Want the key to hosting a perfect party? Apply the elements of a great festival.

Of course, other art forms can be an inspiration as well.

There’s the French film school of parties. If the event seems like a basic French film — love declarations, sex between couples as well as adulterous affairs, slamming doors, fine liquor and food, and scenes of high drama within a comedy of manners — then it was a good party.

The Abstract art school of parties includes lots of cigarette smoke, cheap wine and bourbon, men trying to be intellectual, a fight or two, someone leaving angry, lots of turtlenecks, jazz, intimate flirtations, and candles in the bottles.

The Literary novel publishing party — a lot of white wine, hard liquor for anyone who designates themselves as a writer, party goers a bit too-well dressed, extroverted titans and introverted assistants, the level of chatter running in parallel to the level of jealousy, and too many people getting ready to go to a better party later in the evening.

The live arts festival inspired party, though, is the kind that you wish would last for days. In fact, just like festivals, the best ones do.

A perfect party includes:

1. Great people. The best festivals have a mix of people — different professions, ages, and backgrounds. However, there should always be at least a few artists in the mix. After all, artists spend their days trying to understand our world and how we live. Who better to keep the conversations, and the insights, rolling? A festival brings people together who might not normally be in the same place at the same time; good parties do the same.

2. Exceptional food. Festival producers know that you not only need very good food, but a wide variety to keep the festive atmosphere going strong. Is there anything worse than a party where the host has put out some different kinds of chips in a bunch of bowls and a hunk of cheese? Festivals and parties are about discoveries and developing new tastes — including food. You’re not going to serve Thunderbird, why would you serve a bag o’ chips?

3. Festive Setting. Not everyone can host a weekend party for twenty by a pristine lake deep in isolated woods with all of a city’s amenities. However, any environment can be made more festive. Festivals often turn an open neglected field into a place that holds lifelong memories. It’s all about turning the pedestrian into prose, transforming an ordinary space into the extraordinary.

4. Music Mix. Every good festival producer knows that to keep an audience throughout the days and nights, they need to provide a mixture of music. Everyone has a friend who is really a closet DJ — they love to create music mixes. Use their talents. Expand the musical vocabulary of the guests, never forget the classics, and jump from one time period to another. The best mix invites you to expect the unexpected.

5. Laughter. You know why festivals are such a great business? Because life is hard. It’s hard work to keep your relationships going; to deal with the illnesses, tragedies, and unexpected turns in one’s life. Festivals — and our parties — are a release, and the best release is laughter. Nothing can replace the experience of joy of sharing a festival moment with an incredible artist and audience. Nothing can replace the high of sharing laughs with old and new friends. Imagine what life would be like to live without art, without laughter.

What have we missed? Other ideas for creating a perfect party?

In the meantime, here’s a toast to plans for the next great party — and the next great festival.

- Bill Reichblum

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One Response to “Perfect Party Plan”

  1. KadmusArts Playlists » Blog Archive » Featuring DJ KA Playlist
    September 18th, 2010 17:03

    [...] the end of summer — nothing better to send off the season than one last hot party. And, as everybody knows, the best parties demand the best DJs. So, if you’ve kept up with [...]

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