Entertainment is an art. I am not talking about the type of entertainment that involves a stage, a dance number, or possibly even a laser light show, but the kind that requires channeling your inner Martha Stewart or Ina Garten. Yes, the neglected and obsolete dinner party.
In order to pull off a successful dinner party that will leave your guests’ appetite for good food and conversation satiated, you must carefully craft various elements such as guest list, menu, and table settings. Something often overlooked in this ensemble of ambiance is music.
While music is not the focal point of a dinner party, a well-orchestrated playlist can be extremely effective in pulling the whole evening together. However, the construction of said playlist is not as simple as it may seem. Many factors play into formulating a queue of songs that is intentional in both its variety and mainstreamed emotion.
The first of these factors being who your audience is. It is important to address your guest list in order to evaluate people’s musical likes and dislikes to keep all the attendants happy. It’s completely okay, and actually highly encouraged, to mix and match artists and genre. Next, a dinner party playlist does not need to stick to conventions of buttoned-up class. Add jazz, hip hop, new songs, old songs, whatever accomplishes the vibe you wish to achieve. With that being said, try to add in songs that your guests may be unfamiliar with, or even new to you. This will add a layer of music enrichment and exchange to the event while ensuring that the evening does not turn into an impromptu karaoke night due to an influx of hits/singalongs. Lastly, don’t be afraid of funk. It’s okay to let the food take a backseat to a selection of flavorful tunes, especially if it gets you groovin’.
If you still don’t know where to start with building your dinner party playlist, the one linked below can be used to help spark inspiration, as a template, or even as is pumped directly through your speakers. I hope the challenge of strategically enlisting songs to be in conversation with the rest of your dining experience feels exciting. And that you are left with an impulse to try your hand at entertaining, resurrecting the sacred dinner party tradition one tune at a time.