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Every awards ceremony has its after party — from the Oscars’ Governors Ball to the many after-parties hosted by various studios and networks, there’s no shortage of places to go to let loose and celebrate your win or drown your sorrows after your loss during awards season. But the SAG Awards are unique in that there is only one after-party and everybody goes to the same place to let their hair down: it’s the PEOPLE and Entertainment Industry Foundation SAG Awards post-awards gala.
“There’s a really great sense of community inside this room and all the stars come here and they know they can kick their shoes off and they stay awhile,” explains event producer and designer Tony Schubert. “There’s not any other official parties that happen that night. For the most part we get everybody that is at the show here, whether that’s for 10 minutes or 3 hours. And we want them to feel comfortable. We want all the guests to stay awhile and have some fun and dance.”
The party takes place in an event space constructed on the main stage of the Shrine Auditorium (also home to the awards ceremony itself) and extended out over the auditorium. Guests can enjoy music from DJ Michelle Pesce while dining on a menu from Wolfgang Puck and a dessert bar; there’s also a photo booth, potential impromptu dance-offs, and more.
The Theme and Atmosphere
This year’s theme is “Reflections,” which is intended to highlight the current cultural climate sweeping Hollywood with things like the #TimesUp movement. “With everything happening in the world and with everything happening specifically in Hollywood, I feel like everyone’s doing a lot of reflecting these days,” explains Schubert. “But at its core it’s really about creating reflective surfaces and having something that a lot of light can bounce off of and create different prisms and different views of what somebody might see looking at it straight on and then it turns and changes as people move throughout the event, and that’s where it came from.”
Zoe Ruderman, executive director of content strategy for PEOPLE, says the theme extends from everything to the atmosphere and decorations to the photo booth, which is inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors rooms at the Broad museum in Los Angeles.
“It’s a lot of mirror-like fixtures and surfaces,” explains Ruderman. “It feels really modern, which is different than previous years.” She adds about the photo booth: “It’s a little bit more of an old Hollywood feel; they’re calling it a gilded infinity room…It’s mirror after mirror so if you stand in front of it and take a photo you see a million of yourself, so obviously there’s a professional photographer in there, but we’re expecting there to be a lot of selfie-ing to be going on.”
While there will be a menu created by Wolfgang Puck, most people would agree the most important menu at an after party is the cocktail menu. Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants will continue to provide the wines — available are the two table wines from dinner at the awards: a chardonnay and a pinot noir, as well as a sauvignon blanc and a cabernet. If you’d like to imbibe on what the stars are drinking, the Cooper’s Hawk restaurants around the country will be offering a tasting flight of the specially selected SAG award wines.
The menu also features a cocktail bar with themed Hollywood cocktails, including “The Dailies” (Clase Azul Tequila, Orange Liqueur, and a blend of pomegranate, lemon, and lime juices), “Hit Your Mark” (Chopin Vodka, Apple Liqueur, Apple Juice, and Blueberry Juice), and “The Call Back” (Portobello Road Gin and Fever Tree Tonic).
Another highlight of Hollywood awards shows is the gift bags the guests get to bring home at the end of the night. For the first time, the SAG Awards gift bags are different for men and women and guests are welcome to choose which they prefer as they go. The bags themselves are provided by Lug. “You can use them as a backpack, a tote, a gym bag. The bag itself is a gift; it’s not like it’s some flimsy little bag,” explains Ruderman. Inside the bag is a wide array of items including a snack bar from SAG Awards host Kristen Bell‘s company “This Bar Saves Lives,” which works to provide life-saving nutrition to children, and a copy of the book The Alienist, which inspired the new TNT series starring Daniel Bruhl, Dakota Fanning, and Luke Evans.
Other products include a phone case, a travel pouch, a hair brush, deodorant, and more. L’Oreal is a sponsor of the party and so the gift bag is packed full of that company’s products. Additionally, they’ll be running a touch-up booth at the party all night long so guests can freshen their hair or makeup while dancing the night away to ensure they are red carpet and camera ready when they step into the Gilded Infinity photo booth.
The SAG Awards air live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out the PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT’s SAG Awards® Red Carpet Live here, starting at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 PT from Los Angeles.