Whether it’s an RP cafe, a band performance, a stage show, or something else entirely, I am constantly in awe at what the Final Fantasy 14 community manages to create. Events like this are made much sweeter when you stumble across them by accident, either by noticing a shout advert or chancing upon a group of players having a party out in the open. That’s what happened to me recently when I came across a beach party hosted by The Catwalk.
On Louisoix, tucked away on the docks near Hidden Falls in Eastern La Noscea, a party was in full swing. It was hard to deny the infectious summer vibes, and I couldn’t resist throwing on my swimsuit and getting involved in the fun.
It was great to see everyone dressed in their favourite beachwear while breaking out their best dance moves, and there was more than one cluster of little Lalafell cuties dancing together, bringing a smile to my face. Of course, it’s not a real party unless you have some decent tunes to boogie to, and fortunately, there were DJs on hand to provide accompanying playlists on Twitch, with DJ Cosmic Fox kicking the night off in style.
Those not busy busting out moves on the dancefloor were chatting and joking near the bar, posing for pictures with photographers, taking part in competitions, or playing in the water just below the docks. There were also several cosplayers, so you got to see the likes of Fandaniel, Thancred, Meteor, and G'raha Tia in their summer outfits and interacting with each other and party guests.
The beauty of the in-game day and night cycle meant we could party in the summer sun and then whip the glow sticks out for the evening. New partygoers were always arriving, filling the dock to bursting point as the party went on for hours and hours.
“We don’t close down at any point, so we start at 18:00 ST or 19:00 ST usually, and the events run for six to ten hours depending on the day,” Berinima, one of the founders of The Catwalk, tells me. “When the last DJ is done, they just raid one of their friends, and the party continues, although at that time, we close the bar and stop the planned activities.”
The Catwalk began in October 2010 as the official venue for the Menphina’s Grove ERP community, where it hosted a wedding party and Halloween ball. However, after a while, The Catwalk decided to mix it up and joined with two other venues.
“I pitched the concept of working together with shared staff to help each other out, and to do collaborations like cross hosting,” Berinima says. “Our first public party was on the 27th of November. Then, I spent weeks scouting for other Free Companies that might be interested in going public, and found a bunch to join the fray — we were around six to seven in the very early days — but the more popular we became, the more signed up.
“We have close to 50 venues, 120 staff members in different positions, around 30 regular DJs, in addition to entertainers like bard bands and game presenters. We have places joined on all servers of the Chaos data center, but that's also the only realm we are focusing on. We have some partners on NA servers, like Exo Aeterna, who have also opened up a club on Chaos in collaboration.”
The Catwalk takes a modular approach; each time they run an event, they use different venues and different themes or setups. The Catwalk staff have no fixed workplace and just go where needed, and they get help from croupiers that belong to one of The Catwalk’s casino venues and DJs from all over the world.
If you want to keep up to date with events organised by The Catwalk and see what’s planned next, you can join their Discord or follow them on Twitter.
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