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Photos show what it's really like inside the Met Gala

Lizzo performs on a table during the 2023 Met Gala
Lizzo performs on a table during the 2023 Met Gala.
  • The public rarely sees inside the Met Gala, due to the event's strict social-media ban.
  • Once celebrities pass the red carpet, they eat dinner and enjoy live performances.
  • Photos show how the Metropolitan Museum of Art transforms for the biggest night in fashion.

The Met Gala is one of the most-profile celebrity events of the year, but the public rarely gets to see what happens inside the event once the red carpet ends.

The annual fundraising event, which is held in celebration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, is one of the most exclusive events of the year, with a guest list hand-curated by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour.

Last year's event raised a record-setting $22 million for the Costume Institute, according to Vogue, with individual tickets priced at around $30,000 and tables reaching as high as $275,000.

This year's theme, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," will celebrate 400 years in fashion and feature rarely seen archival pieces from the institute's collection.

Photos from past years' events give a glimpse at what it's actually like to attend the Met Gala, from the table settings to the night's star-studded performances.

The Met Gala is held every year on the first Monday of May.
Outside view of the MET museum in New York City
The outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met Gala is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The event is invite-only. Tickets typically range from $30,000 for a single ticket to $275,000 for a table.

The majority of what the public sees of the Met Gala occurs on the red carpet, which stretches down and across the steps of the museum.
An aerial shot shows Jared Leto on the red carpet at the 2023 Met Gala
An aerial shot shows Jared Leto on the red carpet at the 2023 Met Gala.

What actually goes on inside the event is kept under wraps until the night is over, as celebrities are prohibited from posting photos or videos from inside the event on social media, The New York Times reported.

However, officially released photos from past Met Galas offer a look at the decorations and atmosphere inside the event.

When guests arrive at the museum, they're usually greeted by a large centerpiece in the great hall.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

Last year's art installation featured a spherical wall of crystals, which paid homage to the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" theme.

The year before, a large spiral-staircase sculpture was erected in the middle of the room, inspired by the night's "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" theme.

The museum is dramatically transformed through decor and lighting.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

However, the museum's art installations in the Met's American Wing remain untouched and available for guests to view throughout the night.

This is what the main space looked like at last year's Met Gala.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

It featured ambient purple lighting, white flowers, and large-scale light projections.

The decorations change from year to year. In 2023, they heavily featured red flowers and roses to honor the night's theme, "In America: An Anthology of Fashion."

The main phase of the night's events is a dinner service.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

Last year, the tables were decorated with white tablecloths, crystal goblets, bright-fuchsia floral centerpieces, and towering candelabras.

There were long tables and smaller circular tables with booth seating placed throughout the main dining space.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

The event's guest list is meticulously curated by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, but the actual seating chart is designed by Vogue contributing editor Eaddy Kiernan.

Vogue reported that making the seating chart takes months.

"We really try to think very carefully about who's sitting next to each other," Kiernan told Vogue. "Our ideal pairing would maybe be two people who we think will just get on like a house on fire, but who may not even realize that they have a lot in common."

It's not just sitting around, though.
Vanessa Hudgens and Lea Michele attend the 2023 Met Gala
Vanessa Hudgens and Lea Michele at the 2023 Met Gala.

In the photo above, Vanessa Hudgens, Lea Michele, Kerry Washington, and Paris Hilton can be seen dancing at the 2023 Met Gala.

There's usually one headline performer for the night's festivities.
Lizzo performs on a table during the 2023 Met Gala
Lizzo performs on a table during the 2023 Met Gala.

The performer is a surprise each year. Past Met Gala performers have included superstars like Rihanna, Florence and the Machine, and Lady Gaga.

In 2023, Lizzo took to the Met Gala stage — and a table — to perform energetic hits like "Good as Hell" and "Truth Hurts" for the crowd of celebrity attendees.

Lizzo also charmed the 2023 crowd by performing alongside Irish flute player Sir James Galway in a rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee."
Lizzo and James Galway perform onstage during the 2023 Met Gala
Lizzo and James Galway perform onstage during the 2023 Met Gala.

It's not unusual for Met Gala performers to pull out all the stops to create a memorable number.

It's also possible for impromptu music performances to happen throughout the night.
Jon Batiste attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022.
Jon Batiste attends the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022.

Grammy winner Jon Batiste took to the floor alongside hired band members at the 2022 Met Gala.

Dancers dressed in 1920s-inspired costumes, inspired by the night's Gilded Age theme, also performed.

However, the main attraction for celebrities attending the Met Gala is to mingle with other celebrities.
Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Jared Leto, and Kylie Jenner attend the 2023 Met Gala
Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Jared Leto, and Kylie Jenner at the 2023 Met Gala.

Some celebrities have even met their future flames at the exclusive event. Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, who dated for six years, reportedly met at the 2016 Met Gala.

"It's fun for meeting the five people you've always wanted to meet in your life," Marcus Wainwright, a cofounder of Rag & Bone who has attended multiple Met Galas, told The New York Times in 2016. "It gives you some sort of permission because you got in the front door."

If guests tire of drinking and dancing, they can also be among the first to view the Costume Institute's latest exhibit.
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023
An interior view during The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023.

This year, the Costume Institute's exhibition is titled "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion" and will feature about 250 items drawn from the Costume Institute's permanent collection, spanning 400 years of garment history, Vogue reported.

The exhibit will open to the public on May 10 and run until September 2, 2024.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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