The Edwardian Ball - SOLD OUT

Event has passed (Sat Jan 21, 2017 - Sat Jan 21, 2017)
The Regency Ballroom
City, Theater, Ball, Performance Arts


Step into a uniquely immersive world, where turn-of-the-century meets world-to-be in a fantastic blend of performance and audience, of sights, sounds, and magic. One can expect an irreverently elegant blend of theatre, circus, live music, DJs, ballroom dancing, parlour games, steam machinery, aerial performances, obscure props, period technology, games, fashion shows and a Vendor Bazaar & Piano Saloon. All in attendance are invited to return to a time of well-dressed gentility by creating characters and costumes for the occasion – instilling a madhouse slapdashery of costumery by nearly every single attendee.

Since 1999, The Edwardian Ball has steadily grown from a Bay Area underground club phenomenon into a full-fledged festival of arts and culture, focusing on the esteemed works of the late, great author/illustrator Edward Gorey…bringing his tales to life on stage. This year only, the Ball will feature four awe-inspiring works of Gorey on loan from SF’s Cartoon Art Museum. “In its 30 year history we have hosted six exhibitions of original drawings and paintings by Edward Gorey in addition to his books and other printed ephemera, and every time the galleries are packed with eager visitors…” says Malcolm Whyte, Founder, Cartoon Art Museum.

Now with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, the truly prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), will be honored for his body of over 100 works. Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books. He wrote and illustrated such popular books as The Doubtful Guest and The Gashlycrumb Tinies and illustrated works as diverse as Dracula by Bram Stoker, The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. His characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings. He was also a very successful set and costume designer, earning a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Edward Gorey's Dracula. Animated sequences of his work have introduced the PBS series Mystery! since 1980.

Resorting to the sure-fire means of getting one’s book published by becoming a publisher, Edward Gorey created The Fantod Press in 1962. His first title, writing as Ogred Weary, was The Beastly Baby, a small tale concerning a particularly unpleasant infant. Every publisher to which Gorey had pitched the work had rejected it…perhaps because it’s about a baby called "it” who is so wicked that "it" cuts off the head of a cat. Gorey's masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat humor have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world.

Both nights’ attendees can visit the widely acclaimed “Museum of Wonders – an Edwardian Odditorium” located in the opulent Regency Lodge (see a panoramic view at Be transported in a nostalgic turn-of-the-century elevator with costumed operator and enter an entire floor dedicated to natural wonders, unusual and peculiar artifacts, a living human statue garden, fortune tellers and sideshows, along with haunted mysteries and curiosities. These are all to be discovered through self-guided tours from 8-11pm, while being serenaded by a haunting soundtrack from an authentic 1900’s pipe organ played by Mighty Dave. Guests can also enjoy a special cocktail concoction from the Raff Distillerie Absinthe Bar.


What, pray tell, is The Edwardian Ball?

Puzzling to explain, nigh impossible to describe, but absolutely delightful to experience, The Edwardian Ball is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author and illustrator Edward Gorey. Set in an imagined “Edwardian Era”, this multi-city, multi-media extravaganza has grown over the past fifteen years from an underground club party into an internationally recognized festival of the arts, now operating with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

Costumed and enthusiastic attendees, now traveling from across the nation and from all corners of the globe, flock to this West Coast celebration for a delightful blend of ballroom dancing, live music, riveting stage shows, DJs and dancing, fine art installations, an award-winning vendor bazaar, mystical and nonsensical oddities, absinthe cocktails, steam machinery, parlour games, alluring sideshows, and much more. All ages are welcome and appropriate in this darkly humorous and elegant setting, where literary aficionados rub elbows with chimney sweeps, where the sensual meets the bizarre, where historically-accurate Edwardian recreationists waltz through the steam-powered tea garden… where the only guiding rule is that you join in on the fun!

The Edwardian Ball has been called “the quintessential must-never-miss event of the year,” “a defining annual San Francisco tradition,” and “a literary circus of the highest caliber” for so many compelling reasons… come experience for yourself!

Tickets, information, sounds, sights, and other such nonsense at !



  1. The Regency Ballroom
    1290 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA