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ARCA End of Prohibition Speakeasy

This year ARCA has decided to throw our very own 1920s Prohibition-style speakeasy as our ice-breaker kick-off event to the 2018 Amelia Conference and we want to invite you to come along.

Date – Early Evening, June 22,2018
Location – Shhhhh! It’s a secret.
An undisclosed location
Somewhere in Amelia               

What is a Speakeasy?

The 1920s was a prosperous era in America known by a few names, such as the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, the Age of Wonderful Nonsense, and the Age of Intolerance, the latter because it was the period in history known as “Prohibition.”

The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was ratified on January 16, 1919 and came into effect on January 16, 1920. It made the manufacture, import, transport, export and sale of beer, wine and hard liquor illegal and was enacted to reduce drunkenness, petty crime, wife abuse, and corrupt saloon-politics, but the opposite happened.

As alcohol was formally outlawed across America, people naturally began to covet it all the more. Crime increased as people rebelled and numerous illegal bars, called speakeasys, were created in secret locations which provided venues for alcoholic beverages and revelry.

During this alcohol ban, organised crime flourished. Mafia groups that once limited their activities to prostitution, card games, and theft began bootlegging in 1920 as a response to consumer demand for banned alcohol. Consequently, the Volstead Act gave mobsters a profitable, often violent, black market to ply their trade in illicit booze…

So much for good intentions.

How long did Prohibition last?

Prohibition remained in effect until 1933. As ARCA doesn’t condone the illicit sale of art (or even booze for that matter), our conference icebreaker party is only a fictitious reenactment of what that time period could have been like.

Rules of the Event:

1. The first rule of a Prohibition party is….

Shhhhh! Keep this secret party quiet! We don’t want the narcs working for Eliot Ness all over us, and as you know, ARCA conferences often have police detectives around! Alright sure, it’s 2018 and alcohol is a perfectly legal (and totally delicious) affectation, and a mere party is unlikely to lead to a SWAT team raid… well, that is unless we are playing our jazz music too loud.

2. Easy directions? Forget ‘em. “Take the third star to the right, and go straight on ’til Friday evening.”

Nothing good comes easy, and during prohibition that was particularly true. As ARCA prepares this night of fancy-free frivolity for our conference attendees, the cocktail location will be a closely guarded secret right until the very last minute. Held within the city walls of Amelia, the speakeasy’s location will be whispered into our guests’ ears on Friday, June 22nd when attendees will be given a map which makes the event an adventure just to get there.

3. Using the front door? Absolutely not.

Do you think you can simply waltz up to the front door and ring the bell of a secret speakeasy? No!

Entry was hidden, often in plain site, but unless you knew where to look, you would never find the place. Speakeasys were concealed down back alleyways or through otherwise regular establishments where you would never expect a pop-up bar to be serving liquor.

To arrive at our special event, we will send attendees on a ten-minute picturesque walk, where thirsty patrons will pick up clues along the way. The last clue being your secret password to gain entry.

4. Dress the part (but only if you want, it’s supposed to be fun, not mandatory).

Yes, we might be funnelling people down a little used alleyway to get you to the party, but as your hosts, the onus is on us to create the festive ambiance of a real speakeasy.

After we have made all the preparations, invited all our attendees, and the day has finally arrived, each of the attendees and hosts are free to take part in that glorious juxtaposition between dank and opulence-  Some people choose to arrive in their Great Gatsby jazz-era finery, others as gangster workmen, in working clothes, or goody-two shoes flapper attire.

Whether you go bright and vibrant or dark and dangerous, period clothing are a prohibition party staple. The litmus test for any prospective outfits for the evening: if you can easily bust a Charleston in it, then you’re good to go. Some, due to the heat, or because of long trips, just come wearing everyday summer clothing and a warm smile. For us that is deoration enough to get passed the bouncer at the door.

7. Where do you get your ticket?

First, you need to register for the ARCA conference. Then, like all ARCA conference optional events, the €20 payment for your speakeasy entry ticket can be made directly at the venue. You can also RSVP by writing to us at on/before June 10th to reserve a space before tickets are sold out.  Then stop by the Amelia Library on Friday June 22, 2018 before 4 pm to pay for your secret entry and to get directions to the secret club.


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