It was in a warehouse in Red Hook. Questlove was spinning records. David Chang's team provided the food while he mingled with the crowd. There were two different photo booths. It wasn't an album debut. It wasn't a gallery opening. It was Audi's attempt at a hipster party for the new A3. And it was fucking awesome.
(Full disclosure: Audi wanted me to attend their hip party so badly that they sent an invite to one of my friends and I cheekily responded as well. I had at least seven specialty whiskey cocktails (The Quattro), 12 servings of pork buns, and took at least four selfies. I also took several servings of dessert home with me. I regret nothing.)
You may recall Audi's absolutely ludicrous 64-page guide to throwing the hippest party ever for the 2015 A3 launch. Well, they didn't just write the guide, they actually threw the party. Let's see how they did.
First of all, hipsters don't want to hang out in a hotel ballroom. No, hipsters require a far more artisanal space. No bourgeois shit like the Marriot.
A raw event space, warehouse, photo studio, or loft (keep in mind that a raw space will require additional seating/décor elements, which will increase costs).
The party was at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They describe the space as "a center for art and innovation." I would describe it as a fucking massive, beautiful warehouse with a ridiculous private outdoor space out on the water. So much exposed brick and timber that it immediately cures impotency in aging hipsters.
But you can't just take the space as it appears. Lighting it properly is super important.
Lighting should reinforce the 'night time' nature of the event. Overall, keep the lighting simple with white lights and subtle red light LED accents.
Now we've got the venue we want and it's lit to...uh... remind people the event is at night, but what's the most important part of a hipster party? Hipsters! Specifically, Audi wanted to pack the place full of non-decrepit A8L owners.
We strongly encourage you to find attendees outside of your current owner base by reaching out to upscale, hip gathering places such as restaurants or galleries and extending an invitation to their social circles.
These are my friends Jon and Jenn. He's a developer at a tech startup. She works at the New School. He lives in Astoria. She lives in Boerum Hill. In his free time, Jon cures his own meat.
Hipsters: Check. (Ok, fine I'm sort of a hipster too. I live in Williamsburg. I'm bearded 90% of the time. I own an immersion circulator, two different devices for brewing pour over coffee, and grind my own locally-sourced beans. Oh, and I also work for a startup.)
Now that the hipsters are in the building, you're going to need to feed them. If you expect me to show up anywhere, you better have something ridiculously delicious, yet ethically sourced/artisinal for me to cram down my gullet.
This target audience likely shops local, supports local businesses, and buys organic. This is something to factor into your decisions regarding food and drink. Consider partnering with a "niche," farm-to-table type restaurant that offers fresh/organic cuisine with unique pairings of flavors and textures.
Food: Holy shit yes check. David Chang catered the whole thing. I ate: approximately 12 pork buns, 2 bo ssam wraps (slow roasted pork shoulder with kimchi and ginger scallion sauce over rice in bibb lettuce), 3 small takeout containers of noodles, countless pieces of Benton's country ham with red eye gravy, a piece of crack pie and a compost cookie. And that's just the food I remember.
Oh, I also chugged a whiskey while talking to Chang himself. He was pretty cool.
Speaking of whiskey, hipsters do not just drink anything.
The following are some examples of established craft breweries and distilleries to use as a reference when you are considering beverage options for the event. Breweries: Evil Twin Brewing, Celis Beer and Brooklyn Brewery; Distilleries: Death's Door Spirits, Kings County Distillery, Widow Jane Distillery...
I really can't recall seeing any labels on the many bottles the bartenders poured in front of me — though I do remember a woman booing the bartender when they ran out of Brooklyn Lager. However, I know that Widow Jane Distillery is right down the block from where the party was held. How do I know? Because I bought a barrel from them to put in my apartment. Oh god, I'm such a fucking hipster.
Now that you have a cool venue filled with very full, very drunk, very cool people, what do you do? You give them something to dance to, of course.
That's Questlove. If you don't know who he is, ask the nearest cool person. I'm off to another hipster party.