From Queens Gardens in the CBD to South Bank and Northshore Hamilton, few places have been off limits for Dîner en Blanc. So where will the picnic pop up next?
Organisers are, as usual, tight-lipped about the location, which this year takes place on October 22. There’s just one clue: it will be bigger than 2015.
“We had 2000 people last year and we are hoping to grow by 1000 this year,” says organiser Amy Grey. “The location has to be iconic because the images are seen around the world.”
Grey hosts the event along with Brooke Williams and Kim Mayberry, and was the first to bring the concept to Australia. “We beat Sydney by a month,” she says proudly of the first Brisbane event in 2012.
As an urban designer, Grey sees the annual pop-up soiree as a way to inspire people to think of new ways to use public spaces. “We have beautiful weather, and we love our city, outdoor spaces and parks, but we don’t see things like this happening here in Brisbane like they do around the world,” she explains. “We have a lot of restrictions around our public spaces, so for here this event is still quite different.”
Dîner en Blanc originated in Paris in 1988, when François Pasquier returned from working overseas and organised a picnic with old friends. So that his guests could spot each other easily, Pasquier asked them to dress in white. That tradition continues in the 70 cities around the world that now host the event each year.
Brisbane’s Dîner en Blanc is always a sell-out, but the addition of an extra 1000 tickets this year does improve your odds of getting an invite.
Guests are required to bring their own white table and chairs, and there’s the option to self-cater or pre-order a picnic hamper. Style is important – this is a French event, after all – and Grey hopes guests will have a bit of fun with the all-white dress code this year.
“I love it when people get into character dressed as ballerinas and Marilyn Monroe, or wearing hats and beautiful fascinators,” she says.
Dîner en Blanc will take place on Saturday October 22. Registrations for the waiting list are now open on the Dîner en Blanc Brisbane website.