It’s not everyday you have a client ask you to scare the living daylights out of their guests. So when Netflix approached us to help preview their Sabrina reboot we fell over ourselves to get involved.
We searched high and low for the perfect venue to host a spooky launch preview.
Johannesburg has myriad beautiful venues, but most have a base plan for set up and you need to adapt to that. To achieve our desired outcome, we’d need a big empty canvas that we could dress and style the way we wanted.
We searched our network and found the perfect location – but it had long been closed and had zero infrastructure in the way of plumbing or electricity. We’d have to do and bring in EVERYTHING.
The now abandoned Johannesburg Park Station concourse is an architectural feast. Massive arch ways welcome you into a space where the history and magnificence of the space is really pulpable. It is also seriously spooky – because it’s dark, dusty and definitely has a ghost or two walking around late at night when the bustling city outside goes to sleep.
An abandoned venue with zero infrastructure is going to need some serious approvals. Safety is our main concern when it comes to events that host a lot of people – and we would never cut any corners or take any chances.
Luckily our good working relationship with the City of Johannesburg ensured that we were able to get approvals needed for the preview once we’d ticked all their boxes and jumped through a few more hoops for extra measure.
As mentioned earlier – we had to bring in all the key infrastructure for this event. This included electricity, lighting, plumbing and the kitchen. We consulted with our key technical suppliers and catering company to ensure that we provided adequate power to enable them to do their work.
Generator, fancy portable toilets, a few kitchen essentials and we were set to make magic happen.
The décor, food and drink for this event needed to bring what the guests saw on screen to life.
Smoke, red lights, candles, antique standing lights and velvet chairs were made ghoulish with cobwebs, fake fingers and dry ice. We created a hay bale maze using no less than 200 hay bales where we’d scare the bejeezus out of our guests with werewolves, zombies and a really bitchy witch.
The food had spooky touches like black skewers, ghost prints, artichoke décor and loads of oozing cheese. The roaming waiters wore ominous red capes and gave the occasional witches cackle when guests took food from them. The bar served up a bespoke Sabrina cocktail from bowls of bellowing dry ice.
We couldn’t have pulled off this event without the help of our amazing Entertainment Team. The actors they brought onto the event were the cherry on top of one of the spookiest events we’ve ever done: bitchy witches, zombies, werewolves, skeletons all added to the fun.
If you’re looking for an events team that will bring your brief to life look no further. Our team is creative, dynamic and the best problem solvers money can buy – pop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make magic happen!