Urban Garden Party Recap

Published On June 18, 2012 | By Liz Labacz | The Arts

Heads up, NakYouOut readers! We have a new writer. Her name is Liz Labacz and she comes to us from her own blog, Liz Labs. She’s going to be contributing some pieces from time to time, so welcome Liz! We hope you enjoy her first review of the fantastically superb Urban Garden Party. As someone who also attended, I can wholeheartedly agree with her thoughts on the event. If you like what you read, be sure to follow Liz on Twitter at @LizLabz.

On Friday night, Pittsburgh’s hippest went down the rabbit hole at The Mattress Factory‘s “Alice at the Factory”, a Wonderland-themed bash. MF’s annual Urban Garden Party is a highlight of the summer, with more than 1,000 in attendance and sights and sounds to remember. The party was hoppin’ before we ever got inside. Waiting in line for registration, locals Lungs Face Feet jammed alongside projections of teapots and Cheshire cats, entertaining guests while volunteers checked us in.

The event was chaired by Susan and Scott Lammie, with lead sponsorship from Audi Dealers of Pittsburgh, UPMC Health Plan, and UPMC. VIP guests attended an early opening hosted by Bob Sendall of All In Good Taste Productions. The Urban Garden Party supports The Mattress Factory’s mission, presenting contemporary art in room-sized installations by cutting edge artists from around the world.

Partygoers circulated under the tent, sampling booze and bites from some of Pittsburgh’s awesomest bars and eateries. Verde‘s Tequila Punch was this attendee’s favorite libation, but every station held a treat. There was beer a plenty, and Clique Vodka mixed up cocktails at the central bar. The Queen of Cupcakes, courtesy of Dozen, ruled from behind the most delicious gown ever seen.

Mad Hatters and White Rabbits roamed the party, and revelers were sure to be lovingly jostled by a roving pack of giant spandexed flowers. The dance floor thrummed with the stylings of DJ Zimmie, Mr. Owl, and DJ Spaed with Casey Hallas. The party lost electricity three times in short succession during the headlining deejay’s set. Staff clearly hustled to uncross their wires, but the crowd generally treated the blackout as an amusing diversion. The Mattress Factory’s outdoor space provided plenty of nooks to lounge in, and the basement, with its flickering black and white video installation and large-scale chess game offered a grayscale retreat from the technicolor outdoors.

The Mattress Factory’s Urban Garden Party should be on your to-do list for next year. Alice At The Factory was a perfect summer party, celebrating quirkiness and art, and supporting an organization that is one of Pittsburgh’s gems. We had a blast!!

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