Change is hard but no NOWB would be harder.

Greetings, Friends!

Thank you for stopping by to read this important post! The NOWB staff are looking forward to seeing you this year and we extend a big welcome to our new folks and a welcome back to our repeat attendees! We’re making lots of plans for another successful year which means a good time for all! Many of you have been with us since 2011, our very first year, and you have watched us evolve and grow into a world-renowned event. Along the way, we’ve had growing pains, we’ve made mistakes, but you stuck with us, gave us constructive criticism and cheered us along to success. Others have come along since our start and have also contributed ideas and feedback. We are so very appreciative of your support and just as we continue to change and grow, we hope you continue to choose our event as your go-to for Halloween in New Orleans. Before we get started on the fun of promoting this year’s festivities, however, I need to touch on several changes that I feel are important to discuss.

For the first time since 2012, we have had to increase our ticket price. I have fought tooth and nail every year to ensure we keep our price the same but due to continuing increases in cost it’s just not possible any longer. We price our event to break even and pay for itself – there is little to no profit – and we cannot put on the event if we are consistently in the red. I know this makes it financially difficult for some of you – it’s not an inexpensive party by any means – but I hope you understand that in order to maintain our chosen venue, the quality of our event and its level of excellence, there is no other option.

We have been somewhat forgiving in prior years, but 2017 will see us rigidly enforcing our attire standard. I think we’ve been pretty clear from the get-go about what’s expected in terms of attire and I’m so thrilled that most of our attendees have absolutely amazed me and the rest of the NOWB staff every single year with the fantastic costuming. I actually tear up a bit when we open the doors and I see what comes walking through (and yes, I’m a sap, but still… it’s awesome). That being said, we’ve gotten lots of complaints about us being ‘too strict’ in regard to our dress code, and some attendees have flagrantly disregarded our requested level of excellent costuming by showing up wearing inappropriate attire. I am stomping my witchy feet. Enough is enough! The New Orleans Witches’ Ball is an elaborate costuming event and as such, I insist that everyone respect the integrity of that expectation. So many of our attendees spend hours and hours on their attire and I’ve heard firsthand from several that it’s very disheartening to make the investment of time and money and to then arrive and see people in denim, or with a hat on that says, “Fuck” or wearing what basically amounts to leather underwear with fishnets and a corset, just ruins the whole vibe. Let me be frank: this is not a club, you are not on Bourbon Street, we don’t want to see your buttcheeks. Part of our magic is the ambience and that is only maintained when everyone adheres to the expected standard of attire. Instead of complaining, please consider taking the opportunity to go all out and wear something amazing! It’s really a lot of fun to costume to the nines! Remember too that if you cannot costume, or prefer not to do so, there is always the option of a lovely formal gown or a well-executed tux. Simple elegance works as well! We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing what this year brings in regard to your attire! Please visit our What Not To Wear and The Witching Hour Pinterest boards for info and inspiration, and feel free to get in touch with questions.

We will no longer be doing ticket transfers. For the past six years I have worked really hard to accommodate last minute name changes and handle the switching of tickets from one party to another. Despite my clearest warnings about the process, there continues to be issues between groups who are arguing about price, arguing about who owns the tickets, etc. and invariably the event gets brought into the conflict to mediate. As a result, I have made the very difficult decision to discontinue ticket transfers. I just cannot accommodate it time-wise due to the issues we face every single year. Please be aware, when you purchase your ticket, you are agreeing that the sale is final and there will be no refund, credit or transfer.

The Early and Gate Check-In processes will be changing, and there will be no in and out once you’ve entered the party. Once you exit, you’re gone for the evening. Why? Long story short, I and several of my staff determined that, over the last two years, we’ve lost approximately 60 tickets to theft. I won’t go into detail about how this was accomplished, but it involved our very popular keepsake wristbands. We do know who some of the people are and we have their pictures and they have been handled in the way witches handle things best, but the rest are a mystery. To say I was disturbed and angry is an understatement. I was also so very hurt and devastated by this theft, as well as the loss of my own personal funds that had to cover the shortage, which was not insignificant. For months I mulled over whether or not to even have the event again, which is one of the main reasons why we are running so late on our theme announcement and introduction of ticket sales. Obviously I decided to forge ahead but the process is changing to eliminate any further theft. Also, security will now be patrolling the entire perimeter of the venue grounds. Anyone caught trying to “beat the system” and enter without a ticket will be arrested as well as put into a vinegar jar and swirled daily until I see fit to take them out.

And… that’s it. I apologize for the negativity – I usually make it a point to keep our pages and website positive – but sometimes things just need to be said. I appreciate you taking the time to read and I appreciate your understanding of our changes. Now, on to the good stuff, coming up soon in the next post!

See you in October!