Creating a Ball in a

Crypt

Bringing the Paris Catacombs to Life in New York City

Front of House

The Story

Legend has it, in 1897 a group of 50 musicians descended into the Paris Catacombs to perform at concert. There is no other known concert that has ever taken place in the Catacombs.

Standing in the maze of galleries sixty-five feet beneath the ground, I could practically hear Saint-Saen’s Dance Macabra, a piece allegedly inspired by the catacombs, ricocheting off the stone ossuary. I knew, at that moment, I needed to hear a concert in a crypt.

The Location

Through research I discovered ten churches with crypts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Using my industry network, I found a contact for the Music Director at The Church of the Intercession. After explaining the concert concept, I peeked his interest and he negotiated with the parish, allowing me to rent the crypt to host a concert for one evening.

Booking Talent

Leveraging my rolodex of musicians, I booked the Founders, a conservatory trained quintet combining classical, folk and original compositions.

As a group interested in re-imagining the concert experience, the collective were eager to sign on to the performance.

Tickets sold out within 30 minutes, and the resale value was 400% over the original asking price

Design

I booked and worked with sound technicians, playing with the dome of the crypt and the stone walls, to create a 360 aural experience

From decor to the flow of the evening, I managed all aspects of the evening including the audiences first entrance into the crypt through the graveyard, intermission ballroom dance lessons and a post performance photo opportunity for an instagramable moment.

Behind the Scenes

The Right Event at the Perfect Time

This event was scheduled as “The Opening of the Halloween Season,”  with invitations and language designed to be reminiscent of Mrs. Astor’s renowned Gilded Age event, the Opening Season Ball.

Building Buzz

A word of mouth marketing campaign was launched six weeks prior to the event, posting interiors of the crypt and creating a countdown to the announcement of the event.

A lavish e-vite was developed and sent to select group of people.

Results

The full 175 tickets for the event sold out after only 30 minutes. The event became so buzzed about one ticket was resold for 400% above the original market price.

This unique event generated a buzz around my events and an email waitlist of over 300 contacts.

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