Met Gala 2024: What’s the theme, how to watch and how much does a ticket cost?

A-listers have been sashaying down the red carpet for fashion’s biggest night out – the Met Gala.

Actors, musicians and business magnates are among those dressing to impress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art fundraiser in New York City.

The 2024 edition of the black-tie extravaganza is inspired by The Garden of Time, a short story by the British New Wave sci-fi author JG Ballard.

The annual gala raises money for the museum’s Costume Institute.

This year’s theme has been chosen to complement the Costume Institute’s forthcoming exhibit Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.

The BBC didn’t get a ticket either – but here’s a quick guide to the event.

When is the Met Gala?

Getty Images Rihanna arrives for the 2018 Met Gala
Guests walk the red carpet from 18:00 EST (22:00 GMT)

Those outside of fashion’s inner sanctum never get to see the private cocktail and dinner events that comprise this multimillion-dollar fundraiser.

But fashion critics everywhere do get to watch their favourite actors, artistes and influencers walk a lengthy red carpet.

Guests began arriving at the Met and walking up the iconic New York landmark’s grand staircase to the click of a thousand cameras from 18:00 EST (22:00 GMT).

But expect late arrivals – we’re looking at you, Rihanna.

How can I watch the Met Gala?

Fashion magazine Vogue, which organises the event, is exclusively livestreaming the red carpet on its website and all of its digital platforms. Streams are also available to US viewers on NBC’s Peacock streaming platform and E!.

International viewers can tune in via TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and X.

You can follow the BBC’s live blog for updates.

The gala and its explosion in popularity has been overseen by Vogue’s global editorial director Anna Wintour.

What is this year’s theme?

Getty Images The dress code for Monday's red carpet is The Garden of Time
Expect lots of florals on this year’s Met Gala red carpet

The Met Gala’s theme often serves as a prelude to the Costume Institute’s spring 2024 exhibition – and this year is no different.

The exhibit – Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion – uses technology to “breathe new life” into garments from the Met’s archives so fragile they can no longer be worn and must remain under glass.

Artificial intelligence, computer-generated imagery, X-rays and soundscapes will be used in “creative and immersive activations designed to convey the smells, sounds, textures, and motions” of these items, according to the museum’s website.

The dress code for Monday’s red carpet is The Garden of Time, which shares its name with a dystopian tale written in 1962 by JG Ballard, in which the last bastion of the super-rich is overrun by a working-class mob of the “great unwashed”.

Commentators are calling it an exploration of rebirth and renewal, and of humanity’s tendency towards cycles of creation and destruction.

For an event that celebrates affluence and excess in an age of economic uncertainty and global volatility, the theme may sound a little on the nose.

  • The ‘delicious irony’ of the Met Gala’s Garden of Time theme

Can I get tickets?

Getty Images Kylie Jenner, Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and Kim Kardashian attend The 2022 Met Gala
Tickets at the invite-only event go for around $50,000 (£40,000)

The short answer is no. Fashion’s biggest night is a cocktail and dinner party for about 400 to 450 invited guests.

Wealthy celebrities and brands snap up all the available tickets and tables at the charity benefit.

An individual ticket goes for around $75,000 (£60,000), more than the average down payment on a house.

A 10-seat table starts at $350,000.

In 1995, Ms Wintour’s first year overseeing the event, a ticket cost just $1,000.

The gala raised about $22m last year, when its theme paid tribute to late design legend Karl Lagerfeld.

Who is hosting?

Ms Wintour has recruited four big names to serve as co-chairs at this year’s event.

They are Latino music stars Bad Bunny and Jennifer Lopez, US actress Zendaya and Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, making his debut at the gala.

Co-chairs help promote the event, plan its theme and dinner, and arrive at the beginning of its red carpet portion.

Serving as honorary chairs are Shou Zi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok, and Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of the Loewe’s fashion house.

TikTok – currently under the threat of a nationwide ban – and Loewe’s are also sponsoring the gala and exhibition.

Getty Images Chris Hemsworth is seen at Anna Wintour's pre Met Gala dinner
Chris Hemsworth is co-chairing his first Met Gala

What is the guest list for this year?

The guest list is always top secret, but several celebrities have already confirmed their attendance.

Rihanna has said she will be there, and we can expect her to be accompanied by her rapper-partner A$AP Rocky.

We can also expect to see J-Lo’s significant other, Ben Affleck, as well as Zendaya’s man Tom Holland.

Others to look out for include Ayo EdebiriDua LipaEmma StoneLily GladstoneLady GagaKim KardashianKylie JennerKate MossBlake LivelyLil Nas X and Lea Michele.

Power couple Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are not tipped to attend. Neither is Jared Leto, who often stands out among the male attendees.

Speculation is also rife over the likelihood of appearances by Sean “Diddy” Combs, who is facing multiple sexual misconduct lawsuits, and Kendrick Lamar, who is locked in a heated war of words with rival rapper Drake.