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What Was The Inspiration For The Gatsby Party?

Over the past ten years, a hugely popular trend for birthday parties and celebratory events is the “Gatsby party”.

It is not necessarily hard to see why; the lavish art deco decorations, flapper dresses, bright lights, jazz music, vivid cocktails and an atmosphere that borders on the edge of chaos is a distinctive, instantly memorable aesthetic that can be brought to life through event hire services.

Whilst roaring twenties parties have always enjoyed some measure of popularity, they started to become hugely popular again with the release of Baz Luhrmann’s 2012 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, a film that vividly showcased the era to a new audience.

This film adapted the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a novel that was relatively poorly regarded at the time but has since been heralded as one of the greatest books ever written.

The eponymous Jay Gatsby was a mysterious millionaire who hosted extravagant parties and span wild tales about his life, when in reality he had come from nothing and made his money through bootlegging and connections to organised crime to impress a debutante he deeply loved.

The tragic romantic aspect of the story is largely a product of Mr Fitzgerald’s own life, but the behaviour of Mr Gatsby and the origin of the parties that ultimately would define the Jazz Age for the rest of time came from his neighbour, Max Gerlach.

Much like Mr Gatsby, Mr Gerlach allegedly made his fortune via bootlegging, and once he had made his fortune and started living in New York, he did not exactly hide it.

He threw huge lavish parties of the type that would inspire Mr Fitzgerald, claimed to be Oxford University educated, always wore a different shirt and created wild myths about his own life up until prohibition and thus his main source of income disappeared.

That sense of lavish excess that comes from Gatsby parties has endured ever since, and coming up to the centennial anniversary of the book’s publication, the new Twenties continues to get inspiration from the lavish chaos led by Jay Gatsby.


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