SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - When somebody who has been played by Justin Timberlake in a Hollywood movie decides to throw a party, the expectations are pretty high.
And Sean Parker, the man behind free music-sharing service Napster and an early Facebook advisor, clearly likes to give people what they want.
Parker, who is an investor in the music service Spotify, pulled out all the stops in a post-Facebook developers conference party on Thursday that was a cross between a backstage concert pass and Trimalchio’s feast.
The party was reminiscent of the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, when extravagant blowouts thrown by well-funded startups were practically a weekly event. A decade later, Web company valuations are on the rise again, led by companies like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, and talk of another tech bubble is in the air again.
This time, the broader economy is sputtering and unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. But Parker’s party, which took place in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, underscored the euphoric atmosphere among the engineers, executives and venture capitalists in the Internet industry.
Those lucky enough to score an invite were ferried in private buses to a graffiti covered warehouse that Parker had converted into a lavish den of decadence, with spit-roasted pigs, sashimi bars, ice-chilled Dungeness crab and multiple, free-flowing cocktail bars.
Parker, who was famously portrayed by Timberlake as the hard-partying Internet entrepreneur in 2010’s “Social Network” film, gave a short talk on stage alongside Spotify CEO Daniel Elk to kick things off.
But this was no ordinary press conference. Media types were seated in a special “press” area — only in lieu of the traditional pen and paper pad typically provided in press sections, each seat was outfitted with a hefty bottle of tequila and a bucket of ice.
Rock band Jane’s Addiction’s frontman Perry Farrell mingled among the crowd before taking the stage to perform a mini-concert. Other acts included The Killers, Snoop Doggy Dog and DJ Kaskade.
Spotify reportedly raised a whopping $100 million (64 million pounds) in funding in June, but word at the party was that Parker bankrolled the bash himself.
It’s been an eventful week for Parker. The 31-year-old Parker was just profiled in a lengthy Forbes piece that dubbed him the “agent of disruption,” and earlier on Thursday, Spotify unveiled a partnership with Facebook that will allow Facebook users to listen to Spotify tunes together.
What better reasons to throw a party?
Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang