Highlife spent the Summer in the Hamptons this year at the Casa Del Sol House in Amagansett producing a series of HOT events. The temperature was HOT but the events even hotter. Full scale food and beverage catering for this 2 day spread with Uncommon James and Kristin Cavalari including custom branding elements, like the life size dune letters, step and repeats, shelving units and floating pool branding of course! Cheers to Summer
Tag Archives: NYC Event Production
Rebecca came to Highlife to produce a star studded intimate dinner party on the beach for 30 people at the Casa Del Sol House this summer. This sun drenched dinner event was the toast of the Hamptons and delighted everyone in attendance with the neon lit dune lettering, stunning step and repeat branding and the sumptuous spread. This invite was the best of the Summer!
THE NATION’S ONLY SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
*Certified 100% Plastic Free by Oceanic Global
IGNITE. THE. NIGHT.
A boundless journey of sensory and visual imagination at this 3rd annual festival highlighting sustainable seafood and farm fresh cocktails. The Foundry set the scene for this Arctic chic event. The historic venue is a fully-restored 19th century building, which boasts 3,000 sprawling square feet of space offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor Greenhouse filled with delicacies from the sea, complemented perfectly with premium wines and spirits.
This year, Aquarius has partnered with Oceanic Global, a non-profit that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. They tap into universal passions to raise awareness for issues impacting our oceans and to provide individual and industry solutions that drive positive change. We are working with them to implement The Oceanic Standard to ensure a plastic-free event. CupZero will provide $2 cups for purchase upon entry to use throughout the festival.
Guests will have the ability to purchase seafood with sustainable offerings as deep as the sea, all of which will be recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rigorous Seafood Watch program. Festival-goers will be equipped with the latest sustainable seafood guides and have the opportunity to sample seasonal flavors by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Executive Chef Matthew Beaudin. Hudson Square’s Houseman Restaurant’s Chef Ned Baldwin will offer Fisherman’s Stew and more and Mattitaco will serve farm to food truck Oysters, Tacos and Moules Frites, courtesy of Chef Justin Schwartz. Ca’Pisci will make its festival return offering a rustic Italian menu featuring only sustainable fish. Salsa Pistolero will be on hand with an assortment of refreshing salsa flavors to snack on and My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream will hand out their sweet treats. MF Events will provide a local raw bar highlighting 100% local to NYC oysters and more…
The festival will showcase and serve up cocktails from the world’s most prominent spirits brands including COÇA PURA TEQUILA, Boukman Botanical Rhum, Koval, London Essence Co., KAS Krupnikas Nolet’s Gin, Chinola, Barrows Intense and Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur. Q Mixers will be the official mixer, enhance the finest spirits and fresh cocktail garnishes will be provided by Square Roots, which is building a hanging Hydroponic Garden. Guests can also enjoy the Coney Island Brewing Co lounge with photo booth, and Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea And Botanicals, while Polar Seltzer, Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and sparkling probiotic drinks from KeVita will be there to help keep revelers hydrated.
This one-of-a-kind immersive experience, outfitted with floral and tree arrangements by Brenton Wolf Design, will also feature a winter séance and a symbolic sacrifice to the God of Aquarius, an art installation by HINT, outdoor fire pits and extraordinary fire breathers and aerialists. The evening will also feature a performance from the Brass Queens, the all female group that’s disrupting a male dominated genre. Guests can commemorate the magical evening with an impromptu photo shoot in the 4Five Photo Booth with fun props to kick your pictures up a notch. DJ Ryan Vandal will provide the soundtrack for the night in the Albra Room while DJ Samantha Michelle will take over the Main Hall. Who could ask for more?
ABOUT MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM SEAFOOD WATCH
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, now and for future generations. Our recommendations indicate which seafood items are Best Choices or Good Alternatives, and which ones you should Avoid. For more information, visit www.seafoodwatch.org
ABOUT OCEANIC GLOBAL
Oceanic Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. We tap into universal passions to raise awareness for issues impacting our oceans and to provide individual and industry solutions that drive positive change. Read more at: www.oceanic.global.
ABOUT CUP ZERO
Cup Zero is on a mission to change the way we think about events and festivals moving towards zero waste one drink at a time. Cup Zero is a reusable cup service based in NYC. They deliver, pick up, wash, and store so you can focus on throwing a great party, without hurting the planet. Using a deposit system, cups get returned so they can be washed and sanitized for future use, keeping the venue clean, and plastic out of the oceans. To learn more, visit www.cupzero.com.
CHEF NED BALDWIN
Inspired by the word husmanskost, “everyday food” in Norwegian, Houseman is a neighborhood restaurant where chef Ned Baldwin serves clear-headed food that ranges from the familiar to the unexpected. housemanrestaurant.com/about
HighLife Makes the Top Ten
The Vendry has selected HighLife Productions as one of its top 10 event production companies. Find out more.
Early summer 2019 HighLife produced and designed an intimate yet whimsical French countryside bridal shower for make-up beauty industry trendsetter Lauren Maffettone celebrating her nuptials. This gilded affair was designed straight out of Champagne where the couple got engaged. From the selection of fine French cheeses, French wines, champagne, and tea cocktails served in quaint baroque provincial china and ornate golden flatware to the lush floral arrangements and classic country side fare. Classic Coq Au Vin was on the menu as well as gruyere croques monsieurs, summer tartines, beetroot cured salmon, chevre croquettes, seafood tower, pepper cress tossed salad, and an over the top dessert bar for Marie Antoinette herself.
This event hosted at the Foundry in LIC featured a custom Bossa Nova playlist, french mime, handcrafted water color portraiture, and model staff dressed as Parisian hipsters!
Production & Design : HighLife
Catering: Rapt NY
Florals: Brenton Wolf Design
Rentals: Broadway Party Rental
Venue: The Foundry LIC
Desert Bar: So Simply Sweet
Photography: Travis W. Keyes
WaterColors: Anthony Kieren
Mime: Nick Adeel
SShef: Spring 44
In the Spring of 2019, HighLife Productions collaborated with Spring44 + Chef Andrew Maturana to reinvent the “dinner party”. Local, Sustainable, delicious eats were on the menu as well as our signature “farm-to-bar” cocktail program, which is a highlight of our summer events calendar at our marquee event Secret Summer. Venue: The Foundry LIC, Florals by Brenton Wolf, Rentals by Broadway Party Rental, Catering by Rapt NY, DJ Eric Visa, Photos by @julesslutsky,
SShef is an unparalleled private dining experience, that was held at The Foundry on Thursday, May 9th This exclusive event served as a kickoff to Secret Summer, the nation’s first and only farm to bar cocktail festival. SShef is brought to you by RAPT, an NYC-based catering and events company and HighLife Productions an NYC based Event Production Company. This special supper club was a three course experience from chef and RAPT owner Andrew Maturana, complemented by unlimited farm to bar cocktails from Spring 44. The dinner menu featured Crisp Edamame with Perigord Truffle and Parmigiano Reggiano, Wild-Caught, Pan-Roasted Black Sea Bass with Fennel Rosti & Buttermilk and Grilled Spring Eggplant Terrine with Fromage Blanc & Pinot Reduction. The night’s entree is a “Woolley Sheep Farm” Spring Lamb with a Jerusalem Artichoke and Miso Purée, Additionally, House Pappardelle Pasta will be served with Chanterelle and Spring Garlic Cream. Dessert will be “Berried Treasure Farm” Tristar Berry Crumble with a 5 Spice Crust, whipped Mascarpone and baby basil.
Creative production, experiential marketing and design by HighLife.
HighLife Productions February 9, 2019
Groomzilla: Breaking the mystique that a straight male groom cannot plan a wedding in 2019″ one event producer’s story on breaking gender norms.
Did you ever notice that in the movies the wedding planner is always gay? Or Female? Who could forget Martin Short’s charismatic turn as the effervescent Franck Eggelhoffer. Or the seminal classic The Wedding Planner staring an Oscar worthy performance from JLO and McLo (that’s McConaughey when he plays opposite Jennifer Lopez). In fact I have been planning and producing events for almost 10yrs now and out of all the wedding planners I know. I cannot name a single straight male. Is it because straight men generally aren’t detailed orientated, they don’t know the finer points of floral design, they can’t comprehend intelligent lighting or various levels of invitation card stock?
In the current marital landscape it is widely agreed that it is “her day.” I rarely hear brides to be talking about their wedding being ‘their day’ or even a non-gender normative “day of love.” Perhaps it’s the social media pressure heaped on females in our society to live their BEST LIFE, or showcase only the GREATEST MOMENTS, when in reality the pressure to always look your best, be your best, and show the world that your wedding is better than all of your “friends” whom you don’t really like that much anyway, is far too much responsibility for one day. Remember getting out of bed to put make up on and then getting back in bed and take a photo of yourself — yea everyone knows that’s fake. Or maybe “her day” is an archaic vestige left from a pre-#meetoo era where the wedding constituted a sumptuous dowry that went along with the bride. Wouldn’t that be nice for all us grooms out there.
It is my opinion that the role of “wedding planner” has always been played by a gay man or a woman because the bride would not feel comfortable with a straight man planning “her day”. Would a straight male planner be able to adjust the bust of a wedding gown on the fly, gab & joke with the bridal party, or supply emergency tampons?
There is so much more that goes into planning what many consider to be the 2nd most important day of your life (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the inevitable birth of a child…)? Not only is marriage permanent (right?), it’s a celebration of love with all your closest friends and family, and ultimately, in most cases, the most expensive party of your life. It is a culmination of your adulthood, a pronouncement to live your life for someone else, an invitation to defining what is important in your life and a chance for you to brag about how much money you have.
This brings me back to my movie metaphor. Did you see Crazy Rich Asians? For what reason is the entire wedding sitting in neck high field grass during the ceremony. To talk about over-the-top wedding celebrations for a moment; this pressure to show people how happy, successful, wealthy, you are has obscured the point of the whole affair. Marriage is a celebration of love and a chance for both families to converge and have a great time. Comparing your marriage, your life, your decisions to others is a death blow that only leads to unhappiness. After all comparison is the thief of joy; I think Kylie Jenner said that. Oh, and thank you Instagram for making it so easy for us to visually compare ourselves to each other before I’ve even had my morning coffee.
So why can’t I plan our wedding? Is it toxic masculinity for me to assume that a straight man could do this? Am I mansplaining to much what my design vision, detailed floor plans, and seating arrangements are? Are my color schemes to masculine on a date that in the history of the world has been regarded with adjectives like blush, whimsical, airy, delicate and gentle. Are men not capable of these adjectives or is it everyone around us who assumes this. You know what happens when you assume right? Good thing my fiancé don’t care what others think.
This much hyped day is fraught with so many unrealistic expectations that every Bride should have a talented planner and a best friend behind them. Good thing I am both. Talented planners not only come up with the overall vision, the design schematics, the vendor negotiations, but they also offer the gray hairs of experience that only time can provide (my greys are actually natural blond highlights). Smart planning does not require big budgets. It requires thoughtful moments that are budget optimized for exponential impact. Spending money on the best bang for your buck and on your priorities. If having a dope AF oyster bar with 9 different kinds of regional oysters, giant Alaskan crab legs, and cockles that would that would make your mother-in-law blush is a priority for you; then go for it. (And invite me!) If you are more discerning in your budget spends then finding artful ways to achieve your vision is how you maximize your dollar. Did you realize that white carnations are making a comeback and white roses are significantly over priced (and a cliché). Since I have a wealth of experience in the events industry I am able to call upon favors from my favorite vendors. That’s just an “inside perk”. Here’s another secret. Every vendor wants to do your wedding and if you give them a budget they will tell you what you can get as opposed to them telling you what it will cost. Managing expectations is often times the hardest of mountains to overcome. That and explaining to your bride to be that the venue only holds 150ppl and your mother’s cousins cousin might have to get left of the list!
Ah, compromise. The cornerstone of our relationship. It is this aspect of teamwork and compromise I wish on all newlywed couples. Having the self-awareness to realize who is better suited for what tasks, is an important lesson that allows us to divide and conquer. Planning a wedding is part of the journey to getting married, it is a test of your relationship and a solid foundation for a lifetime of marriage. Patience is another virtue. I am still working on this one.
Wedding Date: 9/14/2019
Stone Harbor, NJ
NYFW Rocky Barnes
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.
Secret Summer 2018
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
Back in the fall of 2016 Medium, the online publishing platform, hired HighLife to create an authentic pub right in the center for their Soho based HQ. Hand crafted Moscow Mules in copper mugs, Old Forester Rye Old Fashioneds, 100% local craft beers were served from the cherry wood and brass bar. The pub-style cuisine featured free-range fried chicken kimchi sliders, smoked kielbasa pretzel bites with whole grain mustard, and winter squash croquettes. This event definitely put the “pub” back in publishing.
Services provided: NYC Event Catering, Cocktail Design & Mixology, NYC Model Event Staffing, NYC Event Design, NYC Event Production.