Las Vegas artists to converge in costume for overnight faerie ball

It’s never a good idea to anger a faerie, goblin, gremlin or any of the fae folk. They can’t be reasoned with, and you might be stuck with faeries, their friends and their shenanigans forever — and end up with something like the Bad Faerie Ball.

“It’s a debaucherously good time,” said Suzanne Lugano, the ball’s organizer. “It’s an otherworldly cosplay kind of event where adults can get all dressed up and and enjoy amazing music and art and just let their freak flag fly — or rather, their faerie flag.”

The annual event may have never gotten underway if the faeries hadn’t run into forces far more frightening than orcs, ogres or even muggles: paperwork and bureaucracy.

“We were planning on doing an all-ages Fairy Festival out at Cactus Joe’s in Blue Diamond and have a 21-and-older Fairy Ball at night,” Lugano said. “Two days before the event, the county shut us down. We didn’t get all the permits we were supposed to, but we didn’t think we needed to because it was going to be a small community event, not much of anything, really.”

Several of her friends had worked hard trying to put the event together. The night the event was supposed to happen, they sat around a campfire drinking absinthe and stewing.

“We were the rebel faeries, the naughty ones, the anarchists, and we were going to camp on that land anyway,” Lugano said. “We decided then and there to have the first Bad Faerie Ball, and instead of trying to go through all of the hoops, we would have it at the establishments I like to frequent and help them out by bringing a bunch of fun people and create an event that happens yearly that people look forward to.”

Because faeries are a capricious lot, the event doesn’t take place at the same time each year. It happens whenever Lugano feels the whim and has the time. For several years, it took place at Artifice, 1025 S. First St., but this year, it will take place at a new venue — or rather, an old venue that has been given a new life.

“We’re celebrating it at the newly renovated Thunderbird (Lounge and Bar),” Lugano said, referring to the complex of hotel rooms with a lounge at 1215 Las Vegas Blvd. South, that was, until recently, the Aruba. “Wes (Myles) and the owners have been wonderful. They’ve offered us a two-night deal for people who want to spend the night for a real bargain.”

The Thunderbird has undergone a major renovation by project designer Myles, former owner of The Arts Factory, who turned that building from an industrial structure into an arts center with outdoor seating and a bar. Likewise, he has opened the former low-ceiling bar area up to the street, raising the ceiling, taking out small, underused rooms and creating access and a view to the Strip side outdoor seating.

“We took everything that was in here and took it out,” Myles said. “We exposed the infrastructure and cleaned it up and polished it all up. It’s been rewired, replumbed; we’ve got a new roof, a new air conditioner and and new bar. It’s made of American walnut. I built it myself.”

He describes the building as “tough” prior to the yearlong renovation that is still underway. The bathrooms each had a single stall, and everything was more than a little cramped and dingy.

Plans include live music four or five nights a week and a new sign featuring the revived Thunderbird name. Until that comes together, the Bad Faerie Ball may be the first time many people see the changes to the location.

The plans are still in flux, but many performers are set to return to the ball this year. Lugano is also expecting a lot of performers who are new to the event.

“We’re going to have The Lounge Orphans and a local viola player named Sarah Zimmerman,” Lugano said. “I’ve reached out to a drag show, a dance show and some burlesque performers.”

The event is also set to include belly dancers, wandering minstrels, hoop performers, at least two mermaids and perhaps a merman and art installations and displays, including artists from Opia Gallery, Manny Rubio, DeArdis Hurts, Roman Alexei and more, including James Henninger, who plans to do a live painting that will be auctioned during the night.

“We’re also holding a second auction for the daughter of Erica McKenna, one of our mermaids,” Lugano said. “Her husband and her daughter were in a car accident, and it was pretty touch-and-go for a while. She almost lost both of them. They have bills up the wazoo now.”

Costumes are required for the event, but you don’t have to wear faerie wings. Lugano said revelers have shown up as all manner of fantasy characters from devils and imps to elves and unicorns.

“It’s a liberating experience,” Lugano said. “There’s a lot of things in faerieland you can draw on. When you put a costume on a whole bunch of people, fun stuff just starts to happen. They become these otherworldly beings surrounded by other crazy freaks. They become a part of the scene. I love the creativity.”

The Bad Faerie Ball is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. or later June 4 at the Thunderbird. Tickets for the 21-or-older event are $10 each or $15 for a couple. The Bad Faerie Hangover pool party is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 5 at the pool at the same location. Admission is $5. A package deal is available for a two-night stay on Friday and Saturday for two guests, which includes admission for two to both events and two drinks for $180. Visit

To reach East Valley View reporter F. Andrew Taylor, email or call 702-380-4532.

Wagonwheel Drive overpass reopens after ice closure
Overpass at Wagonwheel Drive reopens after ice on the onramp caused the ramp to be shut down, Feb. 22, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Keeping warm at the city of Las Vegas’ homeless courtyard
With help from the city of Las Vegas, a Salvation Army shelter stays open during the day Thursday and Friday, offering a safe place for the homeless to find respite from freezing temperatures and snow. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sloppy, Slushy Road Conditions Lead to Slow Traffic
Traffic slowed to a crawl on Jones are near Russell as conditions worsened Thursday. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Winter storm blankets west side of Las Vegas Valley
On Wednesday evening through early Thursday a winter storm dumped more than 7 1/2 inches of snow on some parts of the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas snow day for children
Las Vegas kids play in the snow that fell on Feb. 21, 2019. (Belinda Englman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow closes Red Rock Canyon, residents enjoy rare snowfall
The greater Las Vegas area was hit with snowfall on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2019. This video shows the areas surrounding Red Rock Canyon and the Summerlin community. Video by: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas kids attend school in the snow
Las Vegas children attend school during a rare snowstorm on Feb. 21, 2019. Staton Elementary School and other CCSD schools remained open. (Glenn Cook/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People enjoying the snow in Summerlin
Fox Hill Park in Summerlin was busy Thursday morning, Feb. 21, 2019, with people enjoying the rare snow that fell overnight. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP advises motorists to take caution during Las Vegas snowstorm
NHP advised motorists to take caution during the snowstorm in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Timelapse of snow at Red Rock Canyon
More than 7 inches of snow fell in the western areas of the Las Vegas Valley, including Red Rock Canyon, on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow falls at Fremont Street Experince in Las Vegas
Snow falls at the Fremont Street Experience early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 in Las Vegas. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow in Summerlin
Snow in Summerlin on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (Anastasia Hendrix/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Snow At Red Rock Casino
Early morning snow in Summerlin on Thursday, feb. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Northwest Las Vegas sees heavy snow fall
Drivers on the 215 Beltway in northwest Las Vegas faced heavy snowfall on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow at Red Rock Casino and Resort.
Snow continues to fall Thursday morning in Summerlin. Heaviest snow west of 215.
Snow soccer in Las Vegas -VIDEO
Players enjoy a game of soccer during a snowstorm in the Anthem area east of Las Vegas on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow falls Wednesday evening in Las Vegas
Heavy snow began falling Wednesday evening in the southwestern part of the Las Vegas valley. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Snow falls on the Las Vegas Strip
Snow falls outside the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip as the Golden Knights play the Boston Bruins. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow near Deer Springs and Buffalo
Snow near Deer Springs Way and Buffalo Drive in the northwest Las Vegas Valley on Feb. 20, 2019.(Cassie Soto/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow in Las Vegas at Red Rock Casino Resort
A winter storm brings snow to Red Rock Casino Resort in Summerlin on Feb. 20, 2019. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
February 20 snow in Centennial Hills (Part 2)
Snowstorm in the far northwest valley. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
February 20 snow in Centennial Hills
Snowstorm in the far northwest valley. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NDOT prepares for snow and ice from winter storm
The Nevada Department of Transportation gears up to keep roads open when snow and ice hit the Las Vegas valley.
Developer gets approval to build homes at Bonnie Springs
The Clark County Planning Commission has approved a plan to build 20 homes on the site of Bonnie Springs Ranch. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Working cats at St. John the Baptist Church
Parish councilmember John Koutsulis talks about the two cats St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church have adopted as part of a working cats program.
Lee Canyon snow makes skiers smile
Skiers and snow boarders took advantage of the Presidents Day holiday and the recent snowfall at Lee Canyon, outside of Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston gets fresh blanket of snow
A winter storm drops nearly four inches of fresh snow on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at Mount Charleston outside Las Vegas. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow in the Las Vegas Valley
Snow accumulated in the Las Vegas Valley for the first time in more than a decade, with snow falling mostly in the western, northwestern and southern areas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal) @bizutesfaye
Snow at US 95 and Lee Canyon Road
Passers-by pulled off Lee Canyon Road northwest of Las Vegas Monday to play in the fresh snow. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Road truck on an empty I-15
Snow and ice contributed to the closure of Interstate 15 near Primm. Jim Prather/Las Vegas Review-Journal
It is a rainy Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - Video
These scenes come from the Las Vegas Stadium LiveCam (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing