BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Big Mike Straumietis’s 2021 Halloween party was lush, peculiar, and frighteningly fun. From the freakish, doobie-smoking jack in the box that welcomed guests to the circus performers, A-list DJ ATrak, and costumed celebrities unleashing their inner weird, Big Mike’s Halloweed Bazaar was as big and bold as the man himself.
Hosted October 30 at a secluded Beverly Hills mega-mansion and wild by tradition, Big Mike’s first shindig since the pandemic shut down the world was conducted with strict COVID-19 protocols. Proof of vaccination or a negative test within seventy-two hours was mandatory before guests boarded shuttles for a twenty-minute ride from the staging area to the top-secret venue: one of the largest estates in Beverly Hills, perched beside a private lake on ten acres in Benedict Canyon.
The immersive carnival atmosphere engulfed visitors the moment they stepped off the shuttle. Pillars bursting into flame and fire dancers marked the entry, giving way to water dragons and contortionists in the foyer. The main ballroom hosted all manner of sideshow entertainment: sword swallowers, fortune tellers, face painters, a Ferris wheel, dancers… The addition of nightmarish clowns and other strange characters transformed the real world into the eerie product of a fever dream. (Not to be missed: trick-or-treating in a room lit solely by blacklights.)
The invite-only event was a feast for the eyes, the spirit, and the stomach. Libations flowed freely, and one could not take two steps without running into something else to eat. That was only natural, considering Big Mike’s generosity with the top-shelf weed. (When one calls a bash a “Halloweed” party, one must deliver on certain expectations, after all.)
Big Mike, a one-time outlaw grower whose celebrated “green thumb” led him to found plant nutrition powerhouse Advanced Nutrients, is justifiably famous for his over-the-top soirées. His annual Halloween parties are among the most coveted invitations in the state of California — and with this one, the ringmaster outdid even his own notoriety. In pulling off such a grand scheme this year, he’ll have to engage in some super-sized machinations to top the event in 2022.