Marketed as the "greatest people watching event on earth," the sold-out World's Largest Disco is back for its 25th year, which means droves of hot pink lycra-covered bodies flood downtown in search of ABBA music.
Discos largely began and remained in the '70s and early '80s, when the Bee Gees and Donna Summer reigned supreme.
But every November at the Buffalo Convention Center, stretchy, flared pants and "Stayin' Alive" creep back into popular culture -- at least for thousands of lucky ticket-holders -- for a bright, blurry night of dancing, drinking and possibly even a no-longer-famous-but-still-fun-to-meet celebrity.
The event sells out fast and it's been long sold out by now. If you did manage to get one of the tickets, here's what you can expect. If you didn't, you could just join in after at the Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar after-party, where the funky disco music flows until 4 a.m.
Where: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin St.
When: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. VIP ticketholders party an hour early and a half-hour later, from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Tickets: General admission tickets include two glasses of beer, wine or pop. Didn't get a ticket? You could try putting your name on the waiting list. VIP tickets (those are sold out, too) include admission to two large private rooms, a private bar with top-shelf liquor and discounted drinks, complimentary hors-d'oeuvres and a private DJ.
Also, organizers posted on Facebook that any electronic tickets are a scam. They'll only be accepting physical Ticketmaster tickets.
What to expect: It's a massive, crowded party of 7,000 people of all ages over 21. It's loud, in more ways than one, with roaring disco tunes and gaudy outfits. It's also a chance to be someone else for the night. Nearly unrecognizable in glasses and wigs, enjoy a night of near anonymity, to really dance like no one's watching.
Where's the money go? All of the disco's proceeds go to Camp Good Days and Special Times, a non-profit that helps improve the quality of life for people who battle cancer, from children, to families, to adults. Their summer camps are free and offer sessions open to men, women and children with cancer, or children with siblings battling cancer. They also take donations online.
Parking: With thousands of people flocking downtown, street parking will be tough to find. SpotHero is an app and website that lets you reserve paid spots in lots ahead of time and scope out the cheapest spot, eliminating the possibility or turning into a full lot or overpaying for parking. Otherwise, this handy map from the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center shows all of the lots nearest to the center.
Ride-hailing: Tickets include a couple of drinks, so if you plan on drinking a few, the app Lyft has you covered. For new users only, the code DISCO18 earns you up to a $20 credit on the app, by earning $5 off your first four rides (click here to activate it). The catch is the offer is only valid for two weeks. So that's one ride there, one ride back and then you'll just have to go out again. Or, if you are coming from the north, park at University Station and take the train in.
Celebrities: The famous guests won't be announced until Friday afternoon and but they always have some connection with '70s pop culture. The disco has welcomed the stars of shows including "The Brady Bunch," "Starsky and Hutch," "Happy Days" and "Bewitched," as well as "Dance Fever" star Deney Terrio and David Cassidy of "The Partridge Family." Here's who came last year.
Still don't know what to wear? If you don't have an outfit yet, know three things:
- One: No outfit is too ridiculous.
- Two: You could treat it like a second Halloween, except you are confined to a disco outfit and not something scary, such as a Michael Myers costume (please).
- Three: To get the most out of the experience, play the part.
You might have to look around, but thrift stores such as Goodwill or AMVETS definitely have actual disco-era clothing somewhere within their cluttered, inexpensive racks, as long as you're free for a while to search.
You can find a large vintage collection at consignment shop Second Chic's Elmwood Avenue location. While on Elmwood, stop by Scoop Shop, a small consignment shop that also sells vintage clothing. Miss Josie's Antiques on Delaware Avenue also sells disco attire in its eclectic, old-school shop.
If secondhand shopping isn't your cup of tea and you don't mind splurging a bit, Free People has a storefront in the Walden Galleria and designs '70s, hippie-style clothing and boasts plenty of options.
Weirdorama, centered in Fort Erie, Ont., boasts an active online Etsy shop, selling vintage '80s clothing, such as this rare "Pulp Fiction" bomber jacket, which might not be apt for the disco, but would make you look cool.
You could also rent your outfit if it's unlikely you'll ever don a glittery spandex jumpsuit again. DC Theatriks, located at 747 Main St., has a plethora of sequined, hot pink dresses and shiny shirts so bright you'll shine, as well as wigs.
"It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over:" Continue the "Night Fever" at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar, where the after-party is "Stayin' Alive." Listen to more funk, hip-hop and disco music until 4 a.m. The person wearing the best costume wins $100.
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