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Met Gala 2024: What Happens at an Exclusive Event?

Fashion’s biggest night is just around the corner as the Metropolitan Museum of Art prepares to once again host the annual Met Gala.

The 2024 Met Gala has the theme: “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”. Fashionpreviously explained that the dress code of the gala ‘The Garden of Time’, inspired by a short story of the same title written by JG Ballard in 1962, ensures that guests follow the theme of fleeting beauty. Visitors can interpret this by wearing flowers, or by the passage of time. For inspiration, guests can also view the Costume Institute’s ‘Sleeping Beauties’ exhibition, which features 50 historically significant pieces, some far too fragile to ever be worn again.

In addition to being an opportunity to pull out all the fashion stops, the Met Gala also marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibition.

As in previous years, the 2024 Met Gala will likely follow a similar schedule, with some of the biggest stars expected to pose on the museum’s iconic steps ahead of the event.

After the red carpet portion of the evening, the celebrities, influencers and other notable guests will make their way to the museum — at which point the Met Gala becomes more shrouded in mystery, as it’s never been revealed what exactly happens inside during the invitation-only party .

From a cocktail hour to a sit-down dinner and a musical performance, here’s what we know about what’s happening inside the Met Gala.

If The New York Times‘ Journalist Vanessa Friedman put it succinctly in 2018: what happens inside the Met Gala is ‘a secret’. She noted that attendees are “prohibited” from posting on social media about what happens after the red carpet.

That said, there are certain things we know for sure, and some details that have been rumored, about what visitors do once inside the museum that evening.

According to Friedman, the beginning of the indoor portion of the event will be marked by a receiving line, where guests will greet the gala’s hosts. This year Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa and Fashion editor Wintour serves as the event’s official co-chairs.

After guests greet their hosts, they will make their way through the exhibit, according to Friedman.

According to Fashionthis year’s exhibition will be designed around three main zones: land, sea and air. Each “zone” symbolizes the natural materials used within it to create garments. Highlighting the natural world and how it has been used in fashion over time, sustainability will remain a key focus throughout the exhibition.

After touring the Costume Institute’s latest exhibit, guests will reportedly head to cocktail hour.

The cocktail party will be followed by a sit-down dinner, which Friedman says is always accompanied by entertainment.

The 2021 Met Gala dinner became a subject of controversy after then-host Keke Palmer jokingly criticized the meal served after she finished her meal. Fashion hosting tasks for live streams.

“This is why they don’t show you all the food,” the singer captioned a photo of a dish with what appeared to be a portion of corn, tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as risotto and a mushroom on her Instagram Stories. “I’m just playing.”

Palmer later apologized to Marcus Samuelsson, the celebrity chef behind the 2021 Met Gala menu Hustlers star tweets: “I just have different taste buds! I love this chef, sorry for this guy.

Palmer isn’t the only celebrity to break the ‘no social media’ rule, as Priyanka Chopra previously shared a bathroom selfie with her, Tiffany Haddish and Karlie Kloss at the 2018 Met Gala.

As for the artists, a former Fashion employee previously told Bustle that “at the performances, every guest always gets up from their table and dances,” noting that the “decor is breathtaking” and the “high energy is palpable.”

According to Friedman, Katy Perry performed at the event, while Bustle reported that Rihanna and The Weeknd also performed live at the Met Gala.

When asked if you can simply purchase one of the Met Gala tickets to gain entry to the exclusive event, the answer is no, as each guest is personally approved by Wintour, who began emceeing the annual gala in 1995.

This year’s Met Gala will take place on May 6, 2024. Everything you know about the theme, and who we can expect, can be found here.