This year Chicago hosted the 2013 Special Event Show,  the premiere national conference for wedding and special event planners. The week was filled with amazing showcase parties and events and tons of great educational seminars. The opening night celebration entitled Bridgeport Empire took party guests back to the roaring twenties with a prohibition themed party held at the Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft.


Over a thousand wedding and event planners from all over the United States donned their 20’s attire and packed the Skyline Loft on January 16th which just happened to be 93 years to the day Prohibition was enacted.

The daunting task of putting together such an elaborate event was taken on by event planner Gwen McNutt CSEP and Jack Scafide of Cort Event Furnishings. When you are planning an event for event planners you know you have to bring your “A game” and Gwen and Jack certainly did.

With the help of the talented event designers Clint and Bari from Revel Decor, the Bridgeport Art Center was turned into an elegant 1920’s speakeasy with each of the 3 different rooms having their own distinct atmosphere.

MDM Entertainment was chosen to do the lighting at the Bridgeport Art Center for the event. It was a real honor to be asked to be part of such a prestigious event. When some of Chicago’s top special event professionals are putting together an event to showcase their talents and our city and they think highly enough of your company and your work and ask you to join them, it is definitely a great feeling!

Gwen and Jack chose an amazing event space with incredible views of the city. I really like loft spaces to begin with and there is just so much you can do with decor and lighting at the Skyline Loft.

Skyline Loft

The party guests entered the Bridgeport Art Center through the loading dock and were escorted up to the Skyline Loft in the freight elevator to give the event an authentic back-door speakeasy feel. When the freight elevator doors opened the party guests could turn left and enter the main room (through the gorgeous draping provided by our friends at Drape Kings) or turn right into the speakeasy casino.

Bridgeport Empire Bridgeport Art Center Lighting

Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft Lighting

As guests made their way to the back of the casino they found a piano lounge with dueling pianists.

Event Lighting at Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft

Many of Chicago’s finest caterers took part in the event and there was delicious food (and beverages of course, it is a speakeasy after all!) to be had around every turn. All of the food was wonderful however, I would have to say one of my personal favorites was the  Shoot ‘Em Up Sams Firecrackers from Blue Plate Catering. They were so,so good!

Bridgeport Art Center Food

Frost Lighting brought in the sound system and a killer LED wall for the main stage. Entertainment for the evening was provided by some of Chicago’s top talent coordinated by Dave Calzaretta from Magnificent Events and co hosted by Mars from Charisma.

The entertainment started out with an awesome set by the CoverGirls Violin Show. If you have never seen them in action I highly suggest checking them out. It was a great way to grab the guests attention and kick off the event.

The CoverGirls Violin Show

Later in the evening the legendary Chicago party band Maggie speaks took the stage and electrified the room.

Maggie Speaks at Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft

There was a steady stream of world class entertainment including dancers and bands throughout the event. Dave put together a fantastic show and had the crowd energized all night but I think my favorite part was when Chicago’s very own Too White Crew took the stage and threw down an insane medley of 80’s and 90’s hip hop.   If you are into old school hop hop you’ve got to check out Too White Crew, they are a blast!

Too White Crew at Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft

As the party was about to end the joint was “raided” by actors posing as 1920’s cops and guests made their way out of the speakeasy and back down the alley.

Thanks to Catch the Moment photographers for the images, you can see the entire Bridgeport Empire photo gallery on their website.

A very special thank you to Gwen and Jack, the team at Revel, the staff at the Bridgeport Art Center and all of the other vendors for all of your hard work in putting together such an amazing event. It was a pleasure working with everyone. There were so many vendors that chipped in and did such a fantastic job that we didn’t list here. For a complete list of the team that transformed the Bridgeport Art Center check out the Bridgeport Empire page on the Special Event website.

For more information on lighting for the Bridgeport Art Center Skyline Loft for your wedding or corporate event contact MDM Entertainment today at 773.253.4986.

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