FIRST PERSON

The Bridgerton Ball: I Met Duke Hastings and Danced the Night Away

Adrienne Gibbs
ZORA
6 min readMay 2, 2022

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The Queen surveys the rooms at the IRL Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience. Images: Netflix/Fever Events

I’ve always wanted to attend a period-specific ball. With the big gown, fancy shoes, live orchestra, dainty dancing, beautifully mixed liquor creations, and flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. The closest I’ve ever gotten to that was a combo of three unforgettable events: a beautiful black tie wedding on South Beach, one of Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy parties in L.A., and a pre-Covid NAACP Image Awards after-party, also in L.A. But even those fabulous, star-studded affairs didn’t recall the hottest TV show of the season and pair it with super fabulous wigs, orchestra-length gloves, feathered fans, and gowns.

So when The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience came to the South Side of Chicago I was shook to my core for several reasons. First, it’s so decidedly rare for outsiders like Netflix to deliberately see the beauty of the Black side of town and host an upscale event not even 15 minutes from my home. Second, these folks turned the premiere — and Black-owned — XS Tennis and Education Foundation facility into a romantic cosplay extravaganza replete with Regency-era architectural details, live music, an inviting dance floor, cast members who keep you present and off your phone, and plenty of intrigue.

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Adrienne Gibbs
ZORA

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.