|A performer dance at M1NT’s Black Swan Party last week.|
Halloween parties are done to death, but not in Shanghai where they are often very upscale, black-tie — and to die for. Victoria Fei dons her mask.
Shanghai never sleeps and neither, it seems, do its dedicated party-goers and party planners.Since tonight is Halloween, there are plenty of parties lined up for this night, the weekend and beyond.
Behind the city’s party scene are hardworking and creative party planners, trying to come up with innovative ideas and decor. After all, Halloween’s been done to death and resurrecting it for another year can mean working magic.
“Shanghai party people are very creative. They are always up for a good time and new places. Loyal customers are valuable and we always try to ensure they will return,” says Milica Stojkovic, marketing director for Collective Concepts, which runs The Geisha, The Flamingo and The Apartment. “This Halloween, we want to attract all fun-loving people who will dress up and party, creating the great atmosphere our Halloween parties are known for.”
The theme this year is popular fantasy and horror TV shows, Stojkovic says.
“We plan to make guest to feel as if they stepped into a set of their favorite shows,” she says. “We want them to have the time of their life and The Apartment will be decked out in scenes from the TV series ‘American Horror Story’.”
The Geisha and The Flamingo will host a “Game of Thrones” Halloween. On Saturday, The Geisha will host a Halloween Party by the Ministry of Sound, one of the world’s biggest electronic music labels. It hasn’t visited Shanghai for a while.
Costumes are essential.
Busy as Stojkovic is, she has to make herself a costume.
Mimi Tung, managing director of b. Swan Communication, is both a party expert and party celebrity. She brought the Black Swan Party to Shanghai together with M1NT. Last week, it concluded its second edition, with DJs, fine food and formal wears.
“Shanghai is a wonderful city, full of events and parties. It’s really hard to attract people if you don’t have something special,” Tung says.
She personally likes parties with a dress code that requires guests to dress elegantly. “When people dress beautifully, they bring joy to others,” she says.
At the Black Swan Party last Friday, around 1,000 guests, more than 80 percent, were in black-tie.
“A successful party is a mix of various trivial elements, including the right time, right venue, right lighting and music, right dressing and, most importantly, the right people,” Tung says.
She is now planning next year’s Black Swan Party, revealing that it will probably be staged in several Chinese cities on the same day.
The city’s thriving party market has attracted the attention of SiTV (Shanghai Interactive Television) under the Shanghai Media Group.
A party-themed TV show titled “Party Queen” is expected to be launched in December. With a “wholesome” and active social platform, the show will select party queens who are distinctive, poised and outgoing.
“There are a lot of nerds who go straight to home right after work. They need to raise their quality of social life. Our show aims to inspire them to socialize and enjoy a healthy party life,” says Zhou Haosheng, producer of “Party Queen.”
“Our party culture focuses on communicating and socializing. Everyone should dare to say hello and make new friends. We hope people will become more outgoing and happy about life and work,” Zhou says.
Every party needs good vibes and good DJs.
DJ Ann Kolt from Russia, who will perform at the Hennessy Artistry Club Series Party tomorrow at Muse on the Bund, says Shanghai’s party trend will become more interactive among DJs, performers, artists and party-goers.
Kolt’s party is themed “Music Without Boundaries, Dare to Pursue Your Dreams.”
According to organizers from Hennessy VSOP, the party aims to offer an exceptional musical experience in which party-goers can interact with talented artists.
“It’s all about enjoying the musical experience we create together. Western people prefer dancing at parties, while Chinese consumers are more likely to be seated, served, and play games,” Kolt says.
As different music and party experiences are developing, Chinese party-goers are becoming more “interactive and passionate,” she says. Having performed in Taipei, she is now inspired to bring totally new concept to the parties on China’s mainland.
Not only are Western DJs like Kolt finding Shanghai a magnet, but Chinese DJs are also getting more active on the party scene.
On Saturday, Wood + Wires Music Festival’s late night DJ party will be held at Qingshuiwan Culture Center. Among many DJs from the UK, Shanghai DJ ChaCha will also be there. Chacha says Shanghai is “the most open and tolerant city in China” and its young people are always curious about new things.
“Development of DJ music in the party market shows us its potential,” Chacha says. “More parties with new ideas will emerge and, as a DJ, I’ll have more fun.”