Wanted: L.A. Home for a perfectly Edwardian Ball

Imagine waking up one day and checking your Facebook page and finding out you’d just lost thousands of dollars. That’s what happened to the organizers of the Edwardian Ball.

Justin Katz thought, “Oh, no. Not again!” Katz isn’t walking under a black cloud, at least, not in San Francisco where the event is entering its 12th year this coming weekend. “Last year, our second year [in Los Angeles], we had a curious incident where I learned the venue [the Music Box] had doubled booked. The owners of the Music Box asked us to please move our date to later, in March.”

The Edwardian Ball takes its name from a writer, Edward Gorey. That Edward and the reign of England’s King Edward gets people in the mood for antiquated manners and dress and a bit of murder and mayhem. That doesn’t mean one should expect a murder mystery–just an assortment of characters who are slightly sinister–maybe even a bit seedy. Think drawing room murder mysteries and fractured fairy tales. People might be evil or mean, but, good gracious, they have manners. But the organizers are finding that’s not true for everyone.

Katz thought that despite the delay, it was “a fabulous event.” People in Los Angeles certainly got into the spirit of the event dress up as goth, Edwardian, steam punk or just get out and have fun fashionable. Throwing on your best corset and applying lots of dark makeup was enough for some. You could dance, you could shop and you could check out new ideas for your next costume.

This year’s event was set to take place on 4 February 2012–just two weeks after the two-day event in San Francisco (20-21 January 2012). “We found out about it because a blogger posted it first; someone posted on the Edwardian Ball Facebook page. We did a little poking around.” The final nail in the coffin was the post on the Los Angeles Times.  From a 9 a.m. Facebook post to an afternoon news article. News travels fast with the Internet.

The organizers of the Edwardian Ball had already pre-paid for the event. “The internal turmoil that must be the Music Box, resulted in it closing suddenly and without explanation.” That means–no news about that happened to that sizable down payment. “We’re left in an unfortunate situation of losing that money with little hope of recouping it.”

Katz wanted to be clear that “the staff and crew of the Music Box were excellent–most gracious and helpful to us.”

If you have the weekend free, Katz stated there are still tickets available for the original Edwardian Ball in San Francisco. And the event has been growing. This year it includes an entire additional floor in the historic Regency ballroom–a museum of wonders. “The museum takes an idea that has been part of the ball since 2006, of displaying art collections, curiousities and oddities…It’s as if you’re stumbling through an eccentric old mansion full of treasures and strange delights.” Katz also hinted there will be performances in shadowy corners.

If you don’t have a costume, don’t worry. No one is turned back for lack there of. But wearing a costume makes you part of the fun.

But if you want to bring this steampunk fun to Los Angeles again, help find the ball a new home.

What are they looking for?

  1. A beautiful/historic setting
  2. An open ballroom floor
  3. A proper stage, preferably with sound and lights and ability for aerial rigging
  4. Multiple rooms or spaces for vending and art installations
  5. VIP space (balcony, booths, etc.)
  6. Capacity of 1000-1500
  7. Preferred location is downtown LA, Hollywood, but open to suggestions.

The organizers have already lost $10K due to the closure of the Magic Box so they are looking for a price break and depending upon the kindness of strangers.

Comments and queries at queries@edwardianball.com. You can also “Like” the new Edwardian Ball Facebook page,

Wouldn’t it be great if this event came to art and historic dance friendly Pasadena?

About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Special Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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