HighLife was tapped by Compass Real Estate to put on their 2019 Broker Holiday Party. Using element of the venue the HighLife team designed supplemental florals and even a holiday tree installation with silk, paper, and real flowers. The room was accented by warm candlelight, hand blown glass hurricane lamps, stainless steel lanterns and rustic gold votives. The food and beverage were the focus of the evening with an incredible assortment of delicious canapés, desert buffet, and holiday grazing table. The drinks were equally as impressive with holiday smoked Manhattans, spicy Pomegranate Rosemary Margaritas, and Holiday Apple Cider Moscow Mules! ‘Tis the season.
Disco Never Dies.
This is especially the case when Interview Magazine taps HighLife to re-imagine the Fleur Room as the iconic Studio 54. In collaboration with The Mavenry Agency the HL team brought together various instagrammable moments as mini WOW factors. Like the custom wheat-pasted step & repeat, the branded mirrorball stage, 54 dancers, disco roller girls, and who could forget the iconic white horse.
Below you can find some before and after images.
Groovy. Very Groovy.
Services provided: Creative Direction, Event Production, Event Design, Event Staffing, Talent management, Talent Negotiation, Vendor Sourcing, Costume and wardrobe design, fabrication and builds
In comparison to the wealth of event and festival experiences that occur in NYC over the course of the summer (i.e., GovBall, Pinknic, la Luna), and many many more it is very clear to me that Secret Summer is by far the best festival in New York City. Below are the reasons why…
#1 THE PRICE
The price of Secret Summer depending on when you buy your ticket is $60-$150 (At the Door) most of the 1000 people who attend Secret Summer purchase a $75–$100 ticket because there are the most of those qualities. In fact in 2019 when we release tickets in April the first 100 $60 tickets SOLD OUT in 2hrs. That’s a testament to the strength of our following. That right there is your ROI and how to judge whether or not what you are doing is working. At Secret Summer all of your drinks are free all day! No other festival can claim this. The first year we actually gave the food away in the ticket price too but that was a huge disaster as people hoarded plates and left half eaten plates all over the place.
For example Pinknic charges you a $90 ticket for the privilege to then sell you glasses of Rosé at $15 a pop. They on top of that sell you a $20 ferry ticket which is actually $2.75 at the ferry…Then on top of that they had to cancel their Saturday event because of the heat and the mayors office issuing refunds (but many people never received that refund and had to write in to request it) so how do you sustain an event with that kind of bad blood…? Other festivals like GovBall everything is for purchase and at a price of $120 plus everything you spend your budget goes up sharply. Then there are the raves in NYC where you pay a very cheap price to be crammed in a small warehouse etc with 7k other sweaty people gyrating. If that’s your thing. At $60 that’s a good value but again nothing is included.
#2 THE QUALITY OF THE DRINKS
To qualify as a cocktail it must have 3 ingredients. 2 is just an emergency and 1 is a problem. Its no secret that the cocktails at Secret Summer are of the highest quality. What Secret Summer does that is so unique is that we pair major liquor brands with ingredients from local farms to create pure magic in a glass. The freshness and quality are evident at first sip. I have attended too many other events and liquor expos where the quality of cocktail is basic and not about the complete experience. From House of Suntory to Aperol to Aldez Tequila, and newcomer Chinola, what the attendee gets is not only exposure to brands they have never heard of but a connection to local farms in their community. This wholesome experience adds to the total picture and rounds out their opinion of the brand itself. In many ways this is why the brands participate.
#3 THE BRANDS, SPONSORS, & PARTNERS
To participate in Secret Summer, a brand has to meet the festivals Aesthetic and match the level of quality. This high level of brands and the integrity of their activations are precisely why the overall experience is so great. Brands that invest in the overall quality of their experience reap the rewards of a depth of brand equity and brand value. How nice it is to effect someone so deeply that they become a fan for life all because of their experience at Secret Summer
#4 THE VENUE
The Foundry in LIC is by far and away the best event space in NYC and an Instagrammer’s dream. This coveted private venue is usually regarded for private events and weddings almost exclusively. This is a rare chance for 1000p to dance and celebrate under its turn of the century stone and ivy decked walls, its rustic cobblestone courtyard and myriad of nooks and crannies crammed with unique artists and eye catching interactions. Just 1 stop from Manhattan and a 20% Lyft discount ride away. The venue is hard to beat.
#5 THE PERFORMANCES
What is different about Secret Summer from other events is that there is no stage. The performances happen all around you all the time for the entire day. You may wander from the Albra room to the courtyard and back again thru the green house and see 4 different performances. This year we had High and Mighty Brass Band headline the festival by playing “MTV Unplugged” style in the round with everyone right there…Meanwhile Chinese dragons surprised guests while wandering thru the courtyard
Posing for pictures, delighting attendees, and interacting with everyone. The festival opened with 2 DJs spinning for a total of 4 hrs setting the mood before the band. In the other rooms guests found bespoke haiku typewriter poetry, the Secret Summer Clique of interactive dancers, hand crafted water color portraiture, psychics, face paint, magicians and more!
#6 THE FOOD
A Small hand selected group of food vendors supplied the eats for 1000p festival goers from BBQ to Tacos, Dumplings, Ice Cream, Mochi, Grazing Platters, afghan comfort food, and more…The wealth of local delights were everywhere and just a short walk away.
Secret Summer after 5yrs is still largely a secret to many people but something tells me this won’t last for long…
THE COUNTRY’S ONLY FARM-TO-BAR COCKTAIL FESTIVAL
SECRET SUMMER RETURNS TO THE FOUNDRY FOR THE 5TH YEAR IN A ROW
ON AUGUST 4th
New York, NY (July 31, 2019) — Secret Summer, a one-of-kind farm-to-bar cocktail festival, featuring unique food and drinks and musical performances will take place at The Foundry in Long Island City (42–38 9th St) on Sunday, August 4th
The 5th annual fete and immersive summer garden party, produced by Tyler Hollinger of HighLife Productions, Andrew Maturana of RAPT Hospitality and Allison Du Val of The Foundry, will welcome 1,000 attendees and feature seasonal farm-to-bar cocktails, unique food vendors, and live musical performances throughout the sprawling venue that includes a 3,000 square foot Main Hall, Garden Courtyard, Greenhouse, Albra Room, and Terrace.
The festivalwill showcase and serve up drinks from the world’s most prominent spirits brands like Aldez Tequila, The House of Suntory, Westward Whiskey, Aperol Spritz, Gem & Bolt Mezcal, The Long Drink, Runa, Mr. Black and more…that will pair perfectly with The London Essence Co: Fine Mixers from distilled essences, and Blue Point Brewery.
“This year, we are excited to be partnering with local farms , Brooklyn Grange Farm (Brooklyn Navy Yard), Windfall Farm (Montgomery, NY), Gotham Greens (Greenpoint Brooklyn + Hollis Queens), Bowery Farming (Manhattan) Lucky Dog Farm (Hamden, NY) and Lani’s Farm (South New Jersey, Bordentown) for the first time to supply the Secret Summer festival cocktail program with some of the most beautiful, local ingredients the season has to offer.” said event producer Andrew Maturana.
KeVita Sparkling Probiotic and Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. will also be on hand, serving their light, delicious and refreshing beverages, while Polar Seltzer and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water will be there to help keep guests hydrated. Elmhurst Milked is offering a variety of delicious iced lattes and coffee with 100% plant-based milks. Guests will be able to drink sustainably with HAY! Straws made from natural wheat stems that are 100% biodegradable. Delicious food offerings include a sustainable raw bar by MF Events and the return of Crazy Taco Mex, Cash Only BBQ and newcomers including Nansense NYC and Mama Margarita’s.Secret Summer gets even sweeter this year with Tipsy Scoop serving liquor-infused ice cream treats up to 5% ABV to satisfy everyone’s appetites and compliment the flavorful libations.
This year’s performers include High & Mighty Brass Band, DJ Dastan, DJ David Hohme, and Mira Fahrenheit. Secret Summer has also teamed up with LYFT to offer festival goers a discounted ride to and from the fest.
Farm-to-bar uses the same ideology that the farm-to-table movement has brought to our food. These vibrant seasonal sippers are prepared with only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. These locally sourced items are skillfully incorporated into the Secret Summer program in many different and exciting ways. Secret Summer’s farm-to-bar program is our way of sharing and celebrating a lifestyle of wholeness, happiness and a passion for quality ingredients and experiences.
About Secret Summer:
Secret Summer is the nation’s first and only “Farm-to-Bar” cocktail festival. It’s a celebration of sustainable mixology, fresh eats, music, art, dance, fashion and more. Vibrant seasonal sippers are prepared with only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. The Foundry in Long Island City provides the perfect location for the party. The fully restored 19th century building boasts 3,000 square feet of raw space with a lush outdoor courtyard that will be open to ticket-holders offering up stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor Greenhouse. General admission tickets begin at $125, which includes unlimited cocktails and beverages and access to all rooms and performances. For more information, visit www.secretsummernyc.com
5 Tips to throwing a great private party
HighLife Productions February 27, 2017
Whether your event is for 10 or 10,000. Making it unique, entertaining, and impactful is key. Below is a selection of recent private events. So that is why we have provided you with some easy and affordable tips for throwing a first class private party either in your home, apartment, office, or showroom.
- The Guests.
Make sure your guestlist is worked out ahead of time so you have a proper rough estimate of who is coming and why they are coming. If it’s a media event you want to maximize your exposure and impressions. So invite the right people. This doesn’t always mean the people with the most amount of followers or XYZ media publication what it means are people who care. Depth not width. Building a cultivated following of “fans” who actually really care and won’t break your stuff! You know your friends will show up but what about those “a little harder to reach” — see if you can give them a reason to attend, add some sort of value to their experience hence #2.
2. Food and Drinks.
Besides the sexy guests and the sweet beats this is probably right up there with the top reasons why people attend parties. Yeah the socializing is fun but what about the treats? Great food and beverage is imperative and hiring professionals to take care of this for you leaves you without the headache and also makes your event special. If you are balling on a budget then serve 1 specialty cocktail that everyone likes ala MOSCOW MULE or MARGARITA and then simple beer/wine/prosecco. Done.
3. The Staff.
Make sure you always have event staff whenever you put together your events. Having a helpful hand and a professional bartender or waiter or both! Will allow you to be a guest at your own party! Too many times we hear “oh my best friend Zach is a bartender so he is gonna do it.” cut to: later that evening when 100 people are in your apt and Zach is stone cold drunk in the back. If you splurge on any one thing in my opinion this is the best because then you don’t need to clean up afterwards.
4. The Playlist
Ideally you should have a DJ and if you want to add that little something extra live music is always a treat whether it be an accoustic performance, jazz solo, mariachi band, or a guy that plays the spoons. These little touches go a long way. If you don’t have any of the above I highly recommend the pre-loaded mixes on Sound cloud and itunes.
5. The Neighbors
Always, Always, always, invite the neighbors. Be up front about your party and never try to sneak it in there. Most of the time the neighbors politely decline but at least they have fair warning that the music will be thumpin till at least 1:00 a.m. I mean, let’s be realistic 1:00 a.m. end time. 2:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. in the club. 4:00 a.m.- 5am Hotel lobby. That’s the order, right?
6. Stay sober…?
Or relatively so. You are the host and you want to be the host with the most right? This does not mean falling apart at 11:00 p.m. because you had 3 Cosmos just nervously waiting for people to arrive and realizing that no one in NYC arrives when the party starts. Always plan for people to start arrive 1 hour after the start time. Myself, on the other hand, loves to come to parties early and leave early. You get the first dibs on all the great food and beverages. You ACTUALLY get to talk to the host and lastly you don’t want to stick around till the bitter end when things tend to get messy Like we stated above 1:00 a.m. -Hit a good club. As the host you want to last the whole night so pace yourself, drink some water. Remember, you are the star of the evening!
HighLife was tapped by Rock Barnes x Cashmere 360 to cultivate the food and beverage program for the launch of the Rocky Barnes collaboration with Cashmere 360 during the NYFW launch of their Soho pop-up in 2019. Talum inspired bites like the marinated red snapper tacos, grilled ripe mango tajin, and homemade blue corn masa empanadas were on the menu while guests sipped on spicy/smoky prickly pear margaritas and luxe pineapple agua frescas.
The Sold-Out Thousand-Person Farm-to-Bar Cocktail Festival, SECRET SUMMER, Returned to The Foundry on August 12
New York, NY (August 13, 2018) – The country’s first and only farm-to-bar cocktail fest, Secret Summer, returned to The Foundry in Long Island City for the fourth year on Sunday, August 12th. The sold-out summer garden party, produced by HIGHLIFE PRODUCTIONS, served up seasonal drinks from the world’s most prominent spirits brands. The day-to-night event of the summer also featured a variety of savory and sweet food vendors, musical and theatrical performances. Man v. Food host Casey Webb awarded Suntory Whisky Toki™ the best cocktail medal for their Toki Twilight, made with the Japanese blended whisky, sparkling sake, sustainably grown citrus, green tea and Pepquino syrup.
Hangar 1 Vodka kept guests cool with Rose Spritzers, Lavender Lemonades and a choice of herbs from a Hanging Herb Wall to complete their cocktails. Brugal 1888 had an immersive rum tasting experience and served up Spicy Mai Tais and Charred Cherry Highballs perfectly complemented with dessert. Brockmans Gin created the Perfect Serve and Earl of Wight and Blue Point Brewery served a Plum Gose-arita in addition to their summer beers from an oversized yacht. Tanteo Tequila created Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas and Bellinis at the main bar. Fentimans botanical drinks were also on hand along with Harmless Harvest, Urban Leaf, Polar Seltzer, Kevita, Rebbl, Patent Coffee and TÖST to keep guests hydrated.
Areppas, The Choripan, Sophie’s Cuban, San Matteo, Wisefish Poke, Mama’s Margarita Salsa, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream and Van Leeuwen were on hand to satisfy everyone’s appetites. Secret Summer musical performers included Sitar & Tabla, Hungry March Band, DJ Kieren Taylor, Kaoro Wantanabe Taiko Drums and Moon Hooch. And the Uprooted Flower Truck was parked at the event, selling hand-crafted flower crowns to guests in attendance.
Farm-to-bar uses the same ideology that the farm-to-table movement has brought to food. Vibrant seasonal sippers were prepared using only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. Secret Summer’s farm-to-bar program is a truly unique way to share and celebrate a lifestyle of wholeness, happiness and a passion for quality ingredients and experiences.
About Secret Summer:
Secret Summer NYC is the nation’s first and only “Farm-to-Bar” cocktail festival. It’s a celebration of sustainable mixology, fresh eats, music, art, dance, fashion and more. Vibrant seasonal sippers are prepared with only raw, peak-season ingredients sourced from local farms and paired with the best quality spirit brands on the market. The Foundry in Long Island City provided the perfect location for the party. The fully restored 19th century building boasts 3,000 square feet of raw space with a lush outdoor courtyard that was fully open to ticket-holders offering up stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor greenhouse.
For more information, visit www.secretsummernyc.com
Services provided: Overall Creative Direction, NYC Culture Creation, 360 Degree NYC Event Production, Strategic Conception & Planning, Innovative Experience Design, Immersive Experiential Marketing, Venue Sourcing and Logistics, Brand Activation & Partnership Farm-to-Bar Mixology, Farm-to-Table Cuisine, Vendor Sourcing & Contract Management, Event Marketing, Event Ticketing, Branding Program Analysis, Metric Measurement, Compliance and Regulation, Talent & Influencer Booking and Management, NYC Model Staffing
A Bridal Shower is an important tradition filled with excitement and fun. An excuse to get together with all of your besties and throw down. Here our chef Rapt Affairs took things to a whole other level with some innovative farm-to-bar cocktails and delicious eats. A tropical themed escape in NYC that featured a Fig & Honey infused coconut water rum cocktail served in a coconut, a watermelon, and vodka collins with grilled rose petals and finally the “Bea-llini” with sparkling rosé, green market peach, and lavender. Delish!
Services provided: NYC Wedding Planning & Wedding Design Services, NYC Bridal Shower Catering, NYC Bridal Shower Design and Execution, NYC Model Event Staffing.
In its 3rd year Secret Summer has grown to almost 1000 attendees, 15 brands, 8 performances and 5 different food vendors. The only “Farm-to-Bar Festival” in the world where all cocktail ingredients are locally sourced within 100 miles of the city. HighLife Productions curated all elements and produces this 360 degree experience as the marquee event on the company’s calendar. Immersive, interacting, and delicious; Secret Summer is an experience like none other. Read some of the press below…
Services provided: Overall Creative Direction, NYC Culture Creation, 360 Degree NYC Event Production, Strategic Conception & Planning, Innovative Experience Design, Immersive Experiential Marketing, Venue Sourcing and Logistics, Brand Activation & Partnership Farm-to-Bar Mixology, Farm-to-Table Cuisine, Vendor Sourcing & Contract Management, Event Marketing, Event Ticketing,, Branding Program Analysis, Metric Measurement, Compliance and Regulation, Talent & Influencer Booking and Management, NYC Model Staffing.
Private events are our specialty especially around the Holidays. If it’s a sit down dinner for 10 or a Holiday Party for 75 every event is personable and detail oriented as well as worry-free as HighLife lets YOU be the guest at your own party. For this private holiday party in particular we brought in artisanal sno-cones and custom shaved ice for added holiday flare. As well as a buffet station of holiday favorites. Here’s to the Holidays. Merry Christmas!
Services provided: NYC Model Event Staffing, Holiday Event Design, Holiday Event Production, Private NYC Catering, Bespoke NYC Mixology Services.
This fall we collaborated yet again with one of our favorite clients Opening Ceremony and the Boston based investment firm Gordon Brothers. Farm-to-Table treats were on the menu for this fashion meets finance cocktail party in the fashion labels HQ. Hamachi Skewers, Hen-of-the-woods mushroom crostini, seasonal pumpkin croquettes and more were just a few of the delectable bites on the menu. The guests sipped on French 75’s and champagne flowed all night for this casual cocktail party for 150 guests.
Services provided: NYC Event Catering, Cocktail Design & Mixology, NYC Model Event Staffing, NYC Event Design, NYC Event Production.