Hidden amongst the vineyards in the Barossa Valley was the secret location of one of our first major events of the year – can you guess the theme?
Every year, our South Australian team are tasked with producing a spectacular sideshow event with a new theme and secret location fit for 240 guests – no easy feat. This year our goal was to create a magical and interactive ‘Hogwarts’ themed evening. We transformed the staffing quarters of the Old Penfolds Winery into ‘The Great Dining Hall’. To truly immerse our guests into the theme we left no stone untouched – from the lighting, table styling down to the delicious food served by local caterer Ellie Beer Catering – yes, she is the daughter of Maggie Beer.
The magical evening began with the guests ferried to the event on a mystery bus tour, arriving in an array of costumes from School Uniforms to wizards and many other popular ‘Harry Potter’ movie characters.
“They were greeted by a four piece cover band who played mystical wizardry music as they entered the re-created ‘Great Dining Hall’,” says Event Stylist for SA, Alana Bolt. The biggest challenge the team faced was copyright – “it forced our team to be clever about how we can allude to the theme without infringing any copyright”, says Bold.
“We had to pull out all stops to across lighting, audio visual and catering to successfully do this.”
Bringing to life an event everyone is so familiar with is very challenging, especially when the theme is magic! Our client originally wanted hanging candles but due to health and safety we opted for the table lanterns instead”.
“Guests enjoyed grabbing their “Invisibility Cloak” as they entered the room. We placed moving fire lights along the stage backdrop to create magical movement within the artwork. There was also a haze bellowing out a large cauldron at the end of the room for special effect.”
One of the most popular props of the evening were the two interactive photo areas:
“The 9 ¾ platform with luggage at the pre function area where guests could get group photos in costume as they enjoyed pre dinner drinks.
“Have You Seen This Wizard” photo and props photo booth with hats, glasses, trophy, maps to include in the photo.
“[The] Most rewarding part of my job is the first reaction – the look on the guest’s faces the moment they see what we’ve created is priceless...it makes those all those months of planning all the more worthwhile”
Overall it was a spectacular event that will certainly be hard to beat next year! But it couldn’t have been down with the amazing effort out South Australian team put in. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to bringing this event to life a special mention to Paul McCann ‘Logistic King of the Barossa’ for weaving his magic and making it all possible.
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