- WeWork was characterized as a “nonstop party” under ousted-CEO Adam Neumann, a company complete with raucous summer retreats and alcohol-fueled meetings.
- That party culture extended to the company’s annual Halloween parties, with an extravagant event held in New York and other parties held in San Francisco, South Korea, and Israel.
- Photos and videos posted by both WeWork and attendees show people dancing to bumping electronic music, a cameo appearance from Rick Ross, and massive venues decked out in extravagant Halloween decor.
- A WeWork spokesperson said the company will not be holding a flagship Halloween party in New York this year. An Eventbrite listing shows WeWork holding a 90s-themed Halloween party in the Philippines.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Around this time last year, WeWork was getting ready to host its annual Halloween party, a massive event in New York filled with loud electronic music and hundreds of people dressed in costume eyeing the open bar.
But after a disastrous two months in which the coworking company saw its IPO shelved, its CEO ousted and its control handed to SoftBank, it’s no surprise that the company’s Halloween celebration is the last thing on its mind. A WeWork spokesperson told Business Insider that the company is not holding its flagship Halloween party this year, although it’s not clear when that decision was made.
WeWork employees have recounted tales to Business Insider about a culture, under former CEO Adam Neumann, that blurred the lines between work and play. Employees told stories of taking tequila shots at meetings and a wild summer retreat during which employees “could hear people audibly having sex in their tents all day and night.”
That party culture extended to the company’s Halloween parties, for which WeWork rented out concert venues, splurged on an open bar, and featured performances from popular DJs and Rick Ross.
Check out scenes from WeWork’s wild Halloween parties over the years:
It’s relatively simple to find scenes inside WeWork’s crazy Halloween parties — the company has posted teasers and promotional videos of parties from a few years on video-sharing platform Vimeo.
Source: WeWork on Vimeo
The location and details of WeWork Halloween parties haven’t been kept secret. WeWork has promoted tickets to WeWork members via publicly available URLs, and has readily shared information in social media posts.
It’s not clear when WeWork, founded in 2010, first started throwing its Halloween parties in New York. But the first social media-documented bash is from 2012, when WeWork held it at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a trendy arts center on the Lower East Side.
WeWork sold tickets for its 2012 Halloween party for $35, which admitted one WeWork members and one guest. Guests could also pay more to donate to Charity: Water, and WeWork said it would match donations. However, due to Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 party was apparently cancelled.
However, the 2013 Halloween party was more successful, and was not inhibited by any natural disasters. The event was held at New York’s Edison Ballroom in midtown Manhattan. According to WeWork’s Instagram, tickets started at $45, which included an open bar.
Source: WeWork on Instagram
The 5.5-hour party featured performances from a Spice Girls cover band, as well as an electronic music DJ, White Panda.
Source: WeWork on Vimeo
Even more, WeWork’s video on Vimeo appears to show CEO Adam Neumann at the party, standing on a balcony above the crowd and raising his drink in salute the dancing attendees below.
Source: WeWork on Vimeo
In 2014, WeWork moved its Halloween party over to Hammerstein Ballroom, a popular concert venue with the capacity to hold up to 2,200 people. The annual party has been held there since.
It’s fitting that WeWork held its Halloween parties at a concert venue, as the company is known for featuring musicians and performers at its events. WeWork summer retreats have featured artists like Lorde and Bastille, and Neumann once brought in a Run DMC member after an all-hands meeting about layoffs.
The 2014 Halloween party — with the theme, “Dark Side of the Moon” — featured appearances from Busta Rhymes and Wyclef Jean, a Haitian singer who was a member of the 1990s hip-hop group The Fugees.
Source: Check in Tech
The following year, WeWork brought out Rick Ross. The rapper of “Hustlin’” fame performed some of his greatest hits at the 2015 Halloween party.
WeWork’s 2015 party was Midnight Circus themed, and the venue was decorated elaborately to reflect it. Costumes that attendees come to the events in aren’t only to celebrate Halloween, but often have reflected each year’s party themes as well.
In celebration of the theme “3016,” electronic band Empire of the Sun performed at WeWork’s 2016 event.
WeWork’s Halloween parties beyond New York seem to have reflected the same theme as its flagship event each year. The 2017 parties were centered around Great Gatsby, as shown in photos from WeWork’s San Francisco party.
At last year’s party, WeWork paid for popular DJs Laidback Luke and Krewella. The party was themed around the question “What is Real?” purporting illusion and mystery.
A photo posted by Neumann’s sister, Adi Neumann, appears to show her at last year’s WeWork party, although it’s unclear which location’s party she attended. The since-ousted CEO was not spotted in any photos from the party, however.
A WeWork employee shared with Business Insider in September a startling experience he had with some employees a few weeks before Halloween 2018.
The employee told Business Insider: “A member of my team, a white male, he pulls out his phone and he said he dressed up as Dr. J — the basketball player — for Halloween, and he shows everybody a picture of him doing blackface. He showed the picture around and I looked around and nobody seemed shocked at all.”
The experience made him think differently about his team, he told Business Insider. “I was surprised that, at that time it was 2018, nobody on the team … said anything about it.”
As for this year’s Halloween, there’s no big New York party happening, a WeWork spokesperson told Business Insider. There are still some smaller offshoots planned for other locations, including a 90s-themed event happening Wednesday in the Philippines. WeWork told Business Insider that that event is “basically a meet-and-greet” to celebrate employees in the area.
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