Thousands of patrons attended the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)on November 25 as they closed this season of Friday Night Live, a regular event that transforms the impressive museum into a venue for dancing, drinking, and nightlife. It boasts live music, local food vendors, drinks, interactive gallery exhibits, and several dance floors.Launched four years ago, the event engages millennials and urbanites alike, putting a fresh spin on the idea of a night out at the museum. It’s definitely a fun way to spend a Friday night in Toronto. Students also enjoy a discounted rate.The ROM wrapped up its 2016 season with a bang. The theme was Afterglow, and advance tickets sold out days before the event occurred. Many patrons seemed eager to purchase last minute tickets as the line wrapped all the way around the building. The museum was filled with glowsticks and coloured lights which hugely altered the atmosphere.With most exhibits open, it was an entirely new experience walking through the ROM with a drink in hand, listening to a slew of live musicians and DJs perform. Musical highlights included DJ Kool Herc, who is credited as one of the founders of hip-hop. Toronto’s very own DJ Ron Nelson and stars from the University of Toronto Jazz Program were also there. Music was played throughout the museum, elevating the atmosphere.Food and drink tickets were available on the main level, and local food vendors could be found at various locations around the museum for hungry guests. Full service bars were located on multiple floors; almost everyone seemed to be taking advantage.Most exhibits were open, including the famed Chihuly exhibit. Dale Chihuly’s first exhibit includes glass sculptures that explore colour, light, and form, and is on display until January 8. Afterglow also featured “Destination – Mars,” which is an interactive display from CBC’s The Nature of Things. Patrons were encouraged to touch space-inspired props, like a replica of Mars, take selfies with a cut-out of David Suzuki, and receive a free print of the photo. This exhibit was one of the most popular and remained busy throughout the night.Among the various dance floors and lounge areas, the Lenovo Glow Zone offered neon makeup for patrons. A live social media board was also visible on the main level of the ROM, successfully integrating social media and technology into the event by posting pictures of patrons from Instagram and Twitter who used the hashtag #fnlROM.This may have been the last Friday Night Live of 2016 but it won’t be the last for the ROM. Watch out for the next event, scheduled for February 3, 2017.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the date of the next Friday Night Live event would be February 2.