500 Festival Rebrands Snakepit Ball to Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank

500 Festival Rebrands Snakepit Ball to Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank

Indy’s most anticipated race weekend party gets a new name, guests will enjoy the same unique experience

INDIANAPOLIS (January 17, 2019) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announces that the Snakepit Ball will now be called 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank. The event’s new name, Off the Grid, reflects its close tie to the Indianapolis 500 and its status as the final celebration in a month dedicated to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.


Since 1957, the 500 Festival has hosted an exclusive pre-race party on the evening before the Indianapolis 500. Over the years, as the community and attendees changed, so too has the event’s name to ensure it set the tone for the evening. Whether called The Governor’s Ball, Snakepit Ball, or Off the Grid, one thing has remained the same: it’s the 500 Festival’s legendary race weekend celebration attended by the who’s who of Indianapolis and visiting celebrities.


New name, same unique experience.

The event’s new name, 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank, perfectly captures the essence of the evening – a tribute to racing festivities and a one-night escape to celebrate before the Indy 500. Off the Grid guests will continue to enjoy the same exhilarating experience that was part of Snakepit Ball. On the night before the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, the Indiana Roof Ballroom will be transformed for a night of revelry and nonstop entertainment. Guests will walk the televised red carpet alongside celebrities and VIPs in town for race weekend, as well as local business and civic leaders. Once inside, Off the Grid guests will enjoy a black tie event featuring spectacular food stations and hand-crafted cocktails. The 2019 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank will take place on Saturday, May 25 from 6 – 11 pm ET. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, March 6 and will cost $325.


“When we changed the name of our pre-race party to Snakepit Ball more than 15 years ago, it was meant to serve as a tribute to the Snake Pit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which didn’t officially exist at the time. Since then, the Snake Pit has returned as a concert held during the Indy 500. Our event’s new name – 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank – will help eliminate any confusion between the two events and set the tone for the evening. We’re proud to continue the tradition of producing the preeminent pre-race party,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Since 1957, Indianapolis residents and out-of-town guests have flocked to the Indiana Roof Ballroom for a night of nonstop entertainment and excitement, hosted by the 500 Festival. This tradition will continue and grow under a new name, the 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank.”


“KeyBank is thrilled to continue our partnership with the 500 Festival for this event,” said Juan Gonzalez, president of KeyBank, Central Indiana. “Over the years, this evening celebration has been a coveted part of race weekend’s festivities. Guests will find their favorite traditions will all continue under the new name, with plenty of room for the unexpected.”


Tickets for the 500 Festival Off the Grid, presented by KeyBank (formerly known as Snakepit Ball), will go on sale to the public on March 6 and will cost $325. Event attire is black tie and all guests must be 21 or older. To request tickets to this year’s event or learn more about Off the Grid, please visit XXX. For VIP group packages, please email sadams@500festival.com. Proceeds from Off the Grid will continue to support the 500 Festival Foundation and the 500 Festival’s free youth programs and events.


Off the Grid is supported by KeyBank, Business Furniture and Markey’s Rental & Staging. Off the Grid’s red carpet arrival will broadcast to the Indianapolis market on WISH-TV. Co-chairs of the Off the Grid committee are Juan Gonzalez and Melissa Proffitt, serving with committee members Rob Pruitt, Joe Santucci, Phyllis Ferrell, Dennis Murphy, and Aasif Bade.


About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit https://flywheel:small-chimney@500festival.flywheelsites.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.