How does the Gladstone Hotel go about planning New Year’s parties for over 500 guests? Well, every year is a bit different—because no two parties should ever be the same!—but there are some tricks of the trade, tried and true, that we always stick with as the process unfolds. It can be a lot of fun exploring how to creatively ring in another year, so we hope you enjoy the pictures and stories behind the biggest party of the year!
Step 1: Pick A Theme:
The big decision is always balance between choosing something culturally recognizable without being too broad or too niche Gladstone parties are always creative, queer, and kitschy too, so the theme has to be easy to play with, and fun to adapt and infuse with burlesque, drag, and pop-up performance activations.. In the past we’ve done “Derelict Downton Abbey“, Rogue Moulin Rouge“, and “Studio 1214 Queen St. West” Now this year’s theme is Las Vegastone!
The runner-up theme was Casino Royale, but in the end that felt just a bit too predictable. Search it on Pinterest, and results don’t yield much iconic imagery aside from the 007 logo. Expanding the casino theme to include everything from the casino capital of the world, we’ve got a lot more to play with. From famous locations like Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio, to classic movies like Fear & Loathing and the Hangover, to favourite stars like Celine Dion and Elton John — cultural references abound!
Step 2: Three Venues to Play With
We’re lucky to have three distinct venue spaces: The Ballroom, the Gallery, and the Melody Bar. Each one has it’s own vibe and character, and can be curated to fit the theme in its own unique way. From decor, to music, to performance, each room adds a unique spin on the theme. In the past, the Ballroom’s been the main theatre at the “Moulin Rogue” (spelling intentional) featuring burlesque on red-curtain adorned main stage, while the Melody Bar was a less formal speakeasy hosting pop-up dance performances on the bar throughout the night. The spaces ended up adding unique looks and vibe to the same party, so guests can switch it up without having to brave the cold line-ups that come with barhopping on New Year’s. This year’s venue themes are Shotgun Wedding Chapel, Grand Vegas Cabaret, and of course, casino!
Step 3: Do Something Different
Having music, DJs, and decor is pretty par for the course when it comes to parties, so throwing a curveball or two into the mix is always extra fun! Performers in disguise popping-up in the crowd is a must. Here are some highlights from the last few years:
And what’s on the surprise menu this year? We’re inviting guests to celebrate this New Year’s Eve with a shotgun wedding! Wedding officiant and drag sensation Fluffy Souffle will be on-site helping couples spontaneously tie the knot in a Vegas-style chapel. All that prospective couples need are the right papers from City Hall, a loving commitment to each-other, and two tickets to the Vegastone New Year’s Eve 2019 bash at the Gladstone Hotel! Looking to get hitched? Grab you tickets to Vegastone 2019 here!
Step 4: Don’t Forget The Countdown
Unfortunately we can’t do indoor fireworks, but we can definitely drop balloons from the ceiling as we hand out a complimentary champagne toast when midnight rolls around. It looks like this: