Even amid an orgiastic glut of White House Correspondents’ parties, it turned out there was marketspace for even more, as the wild crowds at Buzzfeed’s first-ever WHCD party proved Saturday night.
But credit the six-year-old social-driven news site for finding a unique niche in the party-hopping circuit: Instead a party before or after the big dinner with the president, Buzzfeed skipped the gala and threw a rival bash at the same time, blocks away at an Adams-Morgan bar.
Lines formed early outside the Jack Rose saloon — mostly 40-and-under media/political gadflies without the pull to get a dinner ticket — with a few crafty individuals sneaking through the kitchen door to ensure a spot inside.
— Ryan O. Ferguson (@ryanoferguson) April 28, 2013
How it was like the WHCA dinner:The crowd shmoozed noisily all night, barely hushing their voices when the founder of Buzzfeed took the mic for a few words.
How it was different: People danced!
When it announced the party, Buzzfeed implied that it had been rebuffed from the official dinner; WHCA officials said that the news site didn’t attempt to buy a table until days after all the seats had been sold and distributed. If they wanted to get attention on the party scene, the counter-programming strategy seemed to work. As the crowds surged, attempts to cordon off areas of special access broke down; an upstairs floor was opened to all parties, creating some space to move on the downstairs dance floor. Oh, was this supposed to be a viewing party?: As the president took the podium on C-SPAN, very few heads were pointed towards the screen.