How To Throw An Epic Rager: This Montauk Duo Schools Us
Remember that party in high school? Acres of red cups, screaming soundtrack, and potential hookups on every couch? Picture that for adults, thanks to "Shark Attack," the legendary, annual Montauk party thrown by a duo that knows a thing or two about ragers — power publicist Jeanann Williams and big-time photographer Ben Watts. This year's bash, held at Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe, was no exception. An affair for 800 guests (though according to some reports, more than 2,500 showed up) hosted by Watts, Ben Pundole (of Ruschmeyer's fame), and Milk Studios' Mazdack Rassi, it featured DJ sets by Zen Freeman, Chelsea Leyland, Carl Kennedy, and Victor Calderone. With a BBQ, tons of neon lights, massive speakers, blow-up sharks, and copious cocktails, you can bet the throwdown got rowdy — and, of course, R29 was on hand to snap all of the action ... and maybe take a shot or three. And, just like those memorable (or hard to remember) teenage gatherings, there was that bummer police raid. Click through to check out the setup of this massive attack, and get inspired to host your own good times on a big scale — minus the cops, please.
"Keep it real, keep it local."
What was the first thing you envisioned when you started planning the party? Was there one thing that you instantly knew the party needed?
"Ben always thinks first about the music, wanting it to be bigger and better than the year before. He really just wants everyone to have an incredible time. I focus on the logistics — not quite as fun."
"Shhhhh, Shark Attack is upon you."
Were you stressed on the day of the party? If so, how did you manage to calm yourself down?
"Yes, definitely. Due to the size of the event, there were so many variables and things out of my control, and I found that hard to take. My nervous energy kept me busy all day, but I took a mid-afternoon break and ran out to Ric Pipino's pop-up salon for a little pampering ... instant relaxation. And, I must credit the rosé my girlfriends and I drank before heading to the party — took the edge right off."
"They don't blow up themselves."
Photographed by Mark Iantosca