Beetlejuice, Barnabas and Edward Scissorhands were three of the first to rise when Tim Burton took the stage at Saturday night’s Boneyard Ball.
When Burton announced that The Killers were coming out next, Joker, Queen of Hearts, Jack Skellington and about 400 other attendees joined them in abandoning their seats and rushing the stage as the band opened with “When You Were Young.”
This year, The Neon Museum’s annual Boneyard Ball doubled as the opening party for Tim Burton’s long-anticipated exhibit, “Lost Vegas: Tim Burton @ The Neon Museum presented by the Engelstad Foundation.”
The gala at Encore At Wynn Las Vegas celebrated the museum’s collection as well as the acclaimed director, producer, writer and animator of movies including “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Beetlejuice” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
The art exhibit opens on Tuesday, but Burton fans earned a sneak peek at the collection and the chance to rub elbows with the director at the ball’s cocktail hour. Superfans eschewed the event’s black-tie dress code in favor of dressing in elaborately designed costumes of Burton’s most memorable characters.
While guests dined on filet mignon and Jack Skellington lollipops, Clint Holmes performed on stage.
The hot-ticket item of the live auction was an original artwork Burton created specifically for the ball, a sketch of Oyster Boy from his “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.”
He also autographed a custom bicycle by Brad Marlon.
Following the auction, The Neon Museum’s CEO and president Rob McCoy presented Burton with the Glow Award, given annually at the Boneyard Ball.
He recalled how the exhibit first came to fruition.
“I got an email from a curator, Tim Burton’s curator,” said McCoy. “It said he loves The Neon Museum. He loves Las Vegas. He would love to exhibit at the museum. How do you answer an email like that?”
McCoy stated that Burton was the first person to bring international attention to the museum’s collection, referencing its inclusion in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”
“Today, Tim shines an even brighter light on our museum,” he said.
Burton accepted the award, a glowing trophy developed by Yesco, saying that he loved Las Vegas and had been coming to the city since he was a child.
He described Las Vegas as “amazing, surreal, beautiful — like a weird dream.”
“These people keep things preserved,” Burton said. “And that’s why I wanted to be in there with the artwork.”
Before leaving with his award, he introduced The Killers, saying “I love every song that they do. They’re beautiful, they’re my favorite band.”