Want to just run away with the circus and inhabit a different dimension? Let’s wander into the storybook, not as a reader, but as one of the characters. It’s more than fantasy, it’s a necessity! The Edwardian Ball, a San Francisco favorite, invites you to do just that with a fusion of historical elements, steam-punk, and contemporary urban flare. Like Alice in Wonderland, you can take your very own journey down the rabbit hole. A delightful immersive environment filled with sensory delight awaits you as The Edwardian Ball prepares another season of festive revelry.

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My first experience of the ball was at The Symbiosis Gathering. A world within a world, Symbiosis is set in the backdrop of Woodward Reservoir which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. A peninsula surrounded on 3 sides by a crystal clear swimming lake, with incredible shoreline camping. Symbiosis is a festival that lives up to its’ name.

Edwardian Ball has many acts and curiosities for you to explore starting with a traditional circus-style midway. Watch out for buffoon dancers playing croquet, and swirly-collared stilted characters adorned with gears as you step up to play ski-ball or a water-powered game. Be careful of banana peels dropped by clowns in grey-sepia colored suits as you prepare to enter the avant cabaret. The child within you lives for moments like these!

The Edwardian Ball is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey. In the Ball, stage acts like Vau de Vire SocietyRosin CovenDelachauxDark GardenShakti BlissFou Fou HAShovelman, and The Klown Korps will entertain you while you ooh and ah between dancing to electro-swing music. Does this sound like a dream getaway? It certainly is.

Everyone is clothed in stories! The clothes you wear, your hair-style, the types of music you like, and the ways you choose to express yourself all tell a story about who you are to the rest of the world. Immersive environments like this allow participants to dream bigger, to redefine themselves and push the boundaries. This isn’t just a momentary dream, this must-see, must-feel, must-hear experience is transformational in its essence allowing individuals to navigate new possibilities long after the event has passed.

All ages of costumed and enthusiastic attendees, traveling from all reaches of the globe, gathering for a delightful blend of ballroom dancing, live music, riveting stage shows, DJs, fine art galleries, absinthe cocktails, steam machinery, parlour games, sideshows, and The Edwardian Ball Roadshow’s very own highly acclaimed Vendor Bazaar. Vau de Vire Society has a revolving door with Cirque Du Soleil performers so this might be your best chance for an up-close, interactive evening with world-class artists where the lines between actor and audience are blurred. Ken Kesey once coined the term, “Ritual Reality” and the description is fitting for this kind of ecstatic journey into the living dream.

If you like Edward Gorey stories and illustrations, turn-of-the-century, Edwardian Fashions, Steampunk Creations, Goth, Macabre, Absurdist ideas, Simple elegance, Burlesque then you are in for the treat of a lifetime. If you don’t enjoy these things it’s probably because you have never been. So don’t hesitate to make your own costume, comb the local vintage shop, and add your own flare to the evening because the pocket-watch is ticking and YOU are the star!

Upcoming 2014 events in San Francisco, January 17 & 18 and Los Angeles, February 8. Learn more at their website.


Jacob Devaney

Jacob blogs for Huffington Post and others in addition to Culture Collective. He specializes in social media, and cross-platform (or trans-media) content and campaigns. Meditation, playing piano, exploring nature, seeing live music, and going to Hopi Dances are some of his passions. As a co-founder of unify.org, Jacob lives for community and believes that we are all interconnected with our own special gift to offer the world.

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