The Burl hosts Beaux Arts Ball


A fashion performer struts the catwalk at the Beaux Arts Ball in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, April 8, 2017. The Beaux Arts Foundation has put on the biannual art, music and fashion festival since 1969, and this year it was hosted by The Burl. Photo by Joshua Qualls | Staff

Gordon Kaye

The Beaux Arts Foundation’s annual Spring Ball took place this past Saturday at The Burl and was by all accounts an incredibly successful show. When asked about the outcome of the show Executive Director Tara Prasad said she was very content with how the night transpired, adding that nearly one thousand people attended this year’s Spring Ball. 

This is the first year that the Beaux Arts Ball has been hosted at The Burl, a new venue in the distillery district that opened in July 2016 after last year’s Ball was held at Manchester Music Hall. The annual show is most closely associated with Pepper Warehouse, which is located just across the street from The Burl and has been the host of past Beaux Arts Balls. Prasad cited higher overhead costs and the larger outdoor space as the main reasons for choosing the new location. 

While The Burl generally hosts its events indoors, headliners Ellie Herring and Luca Lush performed outdoors on a large stage. What normally serves as the venue’s parking lot was overflowing with fans decked out in crazy costumes as the show drew to a close just after 2:30 a.m.

Parallel to the main building was a warehouse with garage doors that were filled with various pieces of interactive art created by students and professors from UK’s College of Design. Senior architecture student Brian Ramirez created an enclosure of mirrors that reflected the viewer’s image multiple times. Another room held a massive inflated tent that observers could walk through. Another piece was constructed entirely of red solo cups. The final room in the garage held a clothing pop up shop while glass blowers, wood burners and graffiti artists created works of art just outside the door. 

The interior of the main building was an impenetrable sea of bodies bunched up toward the indoor stage. Opening artists performed as dancers spun around a pole that was imported for the event. The women of Calypso Flow mesmerized the crowd with their moves and flowed evenly throughout the venue. 

One of the top highlights of the evening occurred during Luca Lush’s set as the crowd yelled for an encore and were handsomely rewarded as Lush dropped a number of heavy trap remixes of songs like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee.” 

The evening ended as police helped to disperse the remaining crowd at 2:40 a.m. The 2017 Beaux Arts Foundation’s Spring Ball was a clear success and may have even found its future home at The Burl.