Hitting the golden globes afterparty scene is like playing a game of human Chutes and Ladders — you’re one of 5,000 guests (plus crashers) trying to navigate the Beverly Hilton’s maze of elevators, stairs and winding corridors. “It’s like throwing a wedding in a hotel where six other weddings are going on, and you’ve all invited the same guests,” is the way one afterparty host has described the experience.
This year, there are seven weddings — er, parties — six inside the hotel and one walk-ably adjacent. It makes for great one-stop shopping as the Hilton becomes a mall for partying. But getting to the right shindig at the right moment is crucial to catch the action: Heidi Klum ripping her dress and Adrian Grenier busting moves on the dance floor last year, or the surprise Prince performance at InStyle/Warner Bros. in 2004. “If texting and Twitter were invented for one event, this is it,” says Relativity/Weinstein event planner Jeffrey Best. “You’re spotting execs, stars and trading information on where the heat is.”
This tradition of afterparties really only began in the mid-’90s, when the studios started putting more emphasis on the Globes as part of their pre-Oscar campaigns. Money began to flow, and parties were one beneficiary. Established events, like InStyle/Warners, get the best spots, while studios that don’t hold parties annually often have the eighth-floor Stardust Lounge, where Sony is this year.
Here are the post-show tips: Get dropped off by cab or car at the Wilshire ticket-pickup entrance (or valet it at the Peninsula); if you follow the rules and shuttle it from Century City, there could be a lot of heel cooling. And follow the winners; if The Social Network scores big, the Stardust Room could turn out to be the most desirable place.
“It’s like spring break for Hollywood,” says producer and former HBO Films head Colin Callender. “And it’s all in one place. It’s the only night you can drink without worrying about driving.”