The 20 Most Lavish and Expensive Events in the World

By: Sydney Sampson | Last updated: Feb 06, 2024

Every year, the world plays host to a variety of events that cater to the elite, the influential, and the extravagant. From fashion shows to festivals, from sporting events to charity galas, the world’s most expensive gatherings are a testament to opulence and exclusivity.

Let’s tour some of the most expensive parties the world has to offer and revel in the truly jaw-dropping price tags.

The Met Gala - New York City, New York

The Met Gala isn’t just a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute; it’s a showcase of high fashion and celebrity extravagance. Dubbed “fashion’s biggest night out” the Met Gala is a chance for designers, celebrities, and fashion industry icons to show off their elaborate, theme-fitting outfits.


Tickets to the gala are invitation-only, but not even the Met Gala is immune to inflation; where tickets were previously available for a mere $30,000 per person, starting in 2023, they will be going for $50,000!

Monaco Grand Prix - Monte Carlo, Monaco

For Formula 1 enthusiasts, there’s no place more glamorous than the Monaco Grand Prix. This event goes far beyond “just a race,” rather, it’s a weekend in the Mediterranean with lavish parties, bottomless champagne, and mingling with some of the richest people in the world.


Photo by Maxime Vandenberge on Unsplash

Held on the streets of Monte Carlo, attending this event as a VIP can set you back a staggering $7,000 to $10,000. But, this price includes access to exclusive parties and the best vantage points to watch the race.

Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most publicized and impactful events in the entertainment industry. Held in a resort town in the French Riviera, this extravagant film festival attracts celebrities and filmmakers from around the world. 

The cost to attend the Cannes Film Festival can range from $6,000 for a standard package to over $25,000 for a VIP experience. With exclusive film premieres, luxurious yacht parties, and top-notch cuisine, Cannes during festival week is a playground for the rich and famous.


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That said, it is possible to attend the festival without being a member of Hollywood royalty. Cinéma de la Plage hosts free, open-air screenings of select festival films every evening.

Royal Ascot - Berkshire, England

The Royal Ascot – the race that Eliza Doolittle attends in My Fair Lady –  is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world, attended by British royalty and high society. 

While tickets to the Royal Enclosure are reserved for guests of the royal family, certain VIP packages are available to the general public. These sell for anywhere between $700 and $3,600 and include entry to the Queen Anne Enclosure, exclusive bars, and dining experiences.


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There is a way for those on a budget to attend the Royal Ascot. A limited amount of general admission tickets are available for $30. These tickets may not include access to the same exclusive parties or birds-eye view as the VIP package, but they allow anyone to live like royalty for a day.

Monaco Yacht Festival - Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Monaco Yacht Festival is a prestigious event where the world’s most luxurious yachts are showcased in the heart of the French Riviera. It’s estimated that the ships that attend the festival are collectively worth over $4.3 billion. The surrounding social events, private parties, and luxury accommodations all add to the total expense of indulging in the Monaco Yacht Festival.

Photo by Maxime Vandenberge on Unsplash

It’s difficult to calculate how much this event can actually cost to attend as a VIP. The general public can buy a ticket for $1,700, but Sapphire VIP tickets are limited and must be approved by the festival committee. Over 80% of applications get rejected. But suffice to say, the price tag is astronomical.


Paris Fashion Week - Paris, France

Paris Fashion Week is the highlight of the year for fashionistas across the globe. Attending this high-profile event means indulging in a week of runway shows and exclusive parties.

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VIP tickets to see the newest designs by Dior, Channel, and Louis Vuitton start at $3,000 per show. And this isn’t factoring in the cost of the high-end shopping spree that happens beforehand. After all, what’s the point of attending Fashion Week without making a fashion statement?


Monaco Rose Ball - Monte Carlo, Monaco

Is it any surprise that the country with the highest GDP per capita would appear so many times on this list? The Monaco Rose Ball was first created by Monaco’s Princess Grace in 1954 and is one of the most prestigious charity events in the world. Held annually in the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, attending this glamorous soirée means immersing yourself in an evening of unparalleled elegance.

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The cost of a ticket to the Monaco Rose Ball can reach up to $10,000, with VIP packages offering exclusive perks and seating for around $25,000. This event features exquisite décor, world-class entertainment, and gourmet dining, all while raising funds for the Princess Grace Foundation.


Kentucky Derby - Louisville, Kentucky

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. Attending the Derby is a chance to embrace the Southern traditions of sipping mint juleps and donning extravagant hats.

Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash

Now, let’s talk about price. VIP packages for this event can range from $6,000 to $12,000, and the private suites cost up to $295,000. These include exclusive seating, gourmet meals, and the best views of the race. But as to how much is spent on predicting the winning horses? Well, all of those bets are off.


Cannes Yachting Festival - Cannes, France

The Cannes Yachting Festival is an extravagant showcase of luxury yachts and sailboats that brings together the world’s wealthiest.

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The cost of attending depends on your level of interest in boating. General admission tickets are available for roughly $30. A VIP pass to the festival includes entrance to the yacht show and after parties, helicopter transportation, unlimited yacht rides, and dinner at a gourmet restaurant for just $1,400. But the real expense is the yachts themselves, which on average sell for over $10,000,000 each.


The Masters Tournament - Augusta, Georgia

The Masters Tournament is the first of the four major men’s professional golf tournaments that takes place at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Getting an elusive ticket is no small feat. It takes either winning the Masters’ ticket lottery, being a member of the Professional Golf Association, or submitting to the mercy of the ticket black market, which is littered with scammers selling fake tickets.

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If you do succeed in getting a legit ticket, attending as a VIP can cost around $6,000 to $15,000. The price includes premium access to the event, excellent seating, and the opportunity to dine on exquisite Southern cuisine.


Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity - Cannes, France

Once again, we’re back in Cannes, where once a year, advertising and marketing professionals flock to the Cannes Lions Festival to celebrate creativity and innovation.

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Tickets for this festival start at $3,500 and can reach upwards of $5,000. Attendees are treated to seminars, workshops, and networking events, all while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the French Riviera.


The Academy Awards Parties - Los Angeles, California

The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, is the pinnacle of the film industry. Attending the show without being in a nominated film takes a miracle. Tickets to the ceremony are not available to the general public, and there’s even a lottery for Academy members to attend Hollywood’s biggest night.

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While The Oscars itself isn’t necessarily an expensive event to attend, the after-parties are where celebrities pay a small fortune to dance the night away. An invitation to the Oscars Governor’s Ball after-party can cost around $2,500 per person. Tickets to Elton John’s Academy Awards Viewing Party are available for a measly $50,000.


Coachella - Indio, California

The Coachella Valley Music Festival in California has for decades been seen as the best music festival in the United States. The stage has been graced by artists like Kendrick Lamar, Harry Styles, Billie Elish, and even Beyonce.

Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

VIP tickets for one weekend are currently on sale for $1,399. If you feel like splurging, you could stay overnight at the VIP Lodge for $4,849, or in the VIP Tent for $7,120.


The Wimbledon Championships - London, England

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered to be the most prestigious. Together with the Australian Open, US Open, and the French Open, it’s one of the four Grand Slams of tennis.

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VIP packages can cost from $3,000 to $15,000, which include premium seating, bottomless drinks, and Michelin-starred meals. The VIP section tends to be star-studded, so who knows? You could find yourself cheering for your favorite player next to your favorite actor.


F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Abu Dhabi, UAE

The F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the final race of the Formula 1 season and takes place at the Yas Marina Circuit. 

Photo by Kamil Rogalinski on Unsplash

VIP packages for this event range from $1,000 to $5,000, granting access to exclusive areas, after-parties, and premium race viewing experiences.


Olympics Opening Ceremony - Paris, France

The Paris Summer 2024 Olympics marks the first time that the opening ceremony has been open to the public – if they’re willing to pay exorbitant amounts. The ceremony takes place along the banks of the Seine, and for reserved seats in the coveted seats next to the Eiffel Tower, prepare to spend $2,800. 

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For a VIP hospitality package, which includes premium seats for the opening ceremony and athletes’ parade, a cocktail dinner, and an after-party invitation to meet the Olympians, tickets start at $10,000.


The NBA Finals - United States

The NBA Finals is the pinnacle of professional basketball, where the best teams in the National Basketball Association compete for the championship title. 

Photo by Ryan on Unsplash

Courtside seats to the 2023 NBA Finals are available for those willing to pay up to $68,500 to experience the game from the best vantage point.


Super Bowl - United States

The Super Bowl is not only the most-watched sporting event in the United States, but also a colossal celebration of American football, entertainment, and advertising. Tickets for the Super Bowl can vary based on seating location, but they range between $4,000 and $29,000.

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Attending the Super Bowl isn’t just about the game; it’s about the experience. Where else can you watch Rihanna’s first performance in over 5 years and Patrick Mahomes score three touchdowns in a single night?


Music On New Year’s Eve Party - Ibiza, Spain

Pacha’s Music On is a legendary celebration that marks the transition into the new year in the party capital of the world. Pacha is one of Ibiza’s oldest and most infamous techno clubs. Though the clubs in Ibiza usually close their doors for the winter, Pacha reopens for their highly-exclusive New Year’s Eve party.

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VIP table reservations at Pacha for New Year’s Eve can cost nearly $10,000, offering premium seating, bottle service, and access to exclusive areas. The party features world-renowned DJs and extravagant light shows, making it a premier destination for those seeking to ring in the new year in style.


Magic Ball - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the largest in the world, drawing two million party-goers each day. Each year, the Copacabana Palace Hotel hosts the Magic Ball, the most exclusive carnival event. This black tie ball is always packed with international celebrities and the world’s ultra-wealthy. Standing room tickets are reasonably priced, but to have an actual seat, dinner, or access to any of the VIP rooms starts at $2,500.

Photo by Ferran Feixas on Unsplash

From the red carpets of the Oscars to the high seas of the Cannes Yachting Festival, these events offer a glimpse into a world of luxury and extravagance that few will ever experience. While most of us can only watch these events on screens, sometimes it can be nice to live vicariously through the rich and famous. For now, we’ll stick to judging celebrity Met Gala ensembles from the comfort of our living rooms in sweatpants.