Some 3,000 Sydneysiders will be hoping that the weather clears up by tomorrow evening, when they’re due to haul white picnic tables, chairs and silverware to a secret location, dressed in white, for a picnic with strangers.
It will be Australia’s second ever Diner en Blanc, a “chic picnic” event that began in France 25 years ago and now involves about 15,000 people worldwide.
The “flash mob” picnics have been held at the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, and Chateau de Versailles in Paris, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney last year.
Diner en Blanc is modelled on royal courts of the past; although a spokesperson said it did not collect demographic information from participants, guests are said to share “a love of beauty and good taste”.
Tickets to tomorrow’s event sold out within two weeks of being made available to the public, despite there being twice as many places this year than last.
The picnic isn’t cheap: tickets are sold in $70 pairs; gourmet hampers begin at $88; and drinks – wine or non-alcoholic drinks only – are purchased on top of that.
Once registered, event organisers consider it “mandatory” for participants to attend, bringing tables and chairs of a certain configuration, so they fit neatly into a set of 25 tables of two guests each.
If all goes well, there will be 60 sets of 25 tables tomorrow, with most guests sitting in the prescribed configuration of men on one particular side and women on the other.
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