New York's Jazz Age Lawn Party Stages a Flapper-Era Fling in South Beach
Gatsby was Gilded Age goals, flapper style is sexy as hell, and a 1920s orchestra can only be improved when a little Latin flavor gets thrown into the musical mix. So it’s great to hear news of the Jazz Age Lawn Party’s expansion to South Beach. The Prohibition-inspired multiday party will take place this January during the 40th-annual Art Deco Weekend as a partnership with the Miami Design Preservation League.
The Lawn Party just wrapped its 11th year in New York, welcoming 4,000 people per day to Governor’s Island. This outdoor venue is where it began as a tiny niche event and grew over time to a three-day bash beloved by the city’s cocktail culturists and artistic elite. Miami is a big move and one that founder and musical headliner Michael Arenella carefully considered.
“I needed a town full of cultural, artistic, and musical vibrancy, with the sort of people who take having a good time very seriously,” he says. “And I needed a town with a reverence for its history and roots.”
The equal attention to creating a superfabulous exclusive and Instagrammable experience, while also respecting a chapter in history that most people’s grandparents can’t remember, is what has always made Jazz Age Lawn Party unique in fans’ eyes. Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra are the official orchestra of the event, with the Ziegfeld-inspired Dreamland Follies dance troupe providing choreographed entertainment and lessons for the whole crowd. Throwback cocktails and gourmet picnic fare keep guests sustained through the day. Everyone dusts off their most obscure Jazz Age slang: This is the cat’s meow, so don’t be a flat tire. Get your wiggle on!
The Miami version of this event will veer away from its Northern counterpart in terms of setting, Latin influence, and nightlife. Organizers plan to make the most of the South Beach backdrop, from putting the dance floor on the sand to renting cabanas for VIPs. With Art Deco Weekend going on all around, expect a decidedly deco aesthetic. Cuban flavor will show up in the cocktails, the food, and onstage, where the jazz will be a mix of classic Jazz Age and Latin jazz. Hotel partners will be hand-selected from deco boutiques: Washington Park Hotel, future home of the Miami outpost of NYC bar Employees Only, is already a confirmed partner.
Also, because Miami parties never stop at sunset, a series of Jazz Age cocktail parties will take over South Beach’s swankest and most exclusive cocktail bars when the daytime events wrap. Exact locations have not yet been announced.
To keep the scene as authentic as possible, the Lawn Party has suggested a dress code. Men: Wear seersucker suits, suspenders, newsboy caps, and spats. Ladies should don drop-waisted dresses, paisley jumpsuits, Marcelled hair, and dancing shoes. Sun hats are both a convenience and a prop. This is a family-friendly event, and children are usually as dolled-up as their parents.
Jazz Age Lawn Party
January 13 through 15, 2017, along Ocean Drive in South Beach. Early-bird tickets (through October 15) cost $60 for general admission; $105 for Jazz Baby line pass entry and three drink tickets; $160 for Bees Knees line pass, three drink tickets, and food; and $290 for a Bonnie and Clyde line pass, which includes drinks and food for a couple. VIP tables start at $750 for two people or $1,200 for four. Cabanas start at $3,500. Afterparty admission is not included in any of these prices. Visit jazzagelawnparty.com.
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