On Monday night, Spoleto SCENE held a party for patrons before the performance of Dogugaeshi. The event was hosted aboard the 64-foot yacht Empyrean, part of the Coastal Yacht Charters fleet, as well as on its Ashely River dock. Party-goers gladly surrendered their shoes for the chance to climb aboard the vessel. (Although I must admit that my worried mind flashed to the shoe thievery of Slumdog Millionaire.) Once on the Empyrean, guests noshed on food from Iverson Catering created with Dogugaeshi’s cultural themes in mind. The standout hors d’oeuvres was a lotus chip topped with goat cheese mousse, asparagus, pickled red onion, and a daikon sprout.

A small dock bar offered bottled beer and champagne, but also urged guests to try elixir additions in their bubbly. There were two choices, the blue lotus syrup, which packed a small kick of caffeine and supposedly possesses aphrodisiac powers, and the elderflower-infused simple syrup. Both were a novice addition, but the elderflower syrup added a welcome sweetness to the standard brut.

The party doubled as a networking event for the crowd of young professionals. There was less talk about “what have you seen” and much more of “who do you know.” Which, really, is fitting for a group that fosters Spoleto support in the transient 20-40 age demo around town. Schmoozing duties were placed in the able hands of the festival’s younger staff members. Of the 70 guests, a couple of recognizable faces were in attendance, including Jeffrey Rhodes of Margot Kauffman Gallery and Julie Wheat of King Street’s Pop-Up Shop.

As Dogugaeshi‘s 8 p.m. showtime loomed, the party wrapped down. But no worries, most of these SCENEsters will reconvene for Friday night’s annual White Party. See you there!
See more photos here.