The food may have been scarce (breadsticks are not dinner) and the booze may have been less than free-flowing, but the performances were first-class.
Controversial singer Tiki Taane brought the house down at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards on Thursday night with his song Freedom to Sing. Four gyrating men in police uniform - a nod to his arrest earlier this year when he was charged after singing lyrics including "F*** the Police" at a Tauranga bar - took to the stage as back-up dancers.
Were they real cops, everyone asked? Marcus Lush told me they must be real, "because they dance like strippers".
Turns out, they weren't.
Minister of Police, the Hon Judith Collins, confirmed "the police on stage were not real". She told me: "Police declined to supply staff or cars but allowed the use of four uniforms for dancers, as we often do for performances if they don't denigrate the police."
It was a coup for the cops and the crowd loved it.
Also working the audience was His Worship Len Brown who, it's fair to say, is quite adept at getting down with the kids. We overheard the Mayor admiring Gilda Kirkpatrick's Gucci trilby. "I'm loving da hat, eh," he said. Does he talk like a bro at home with Shan?
Many of the frocks were fabulous. Annabel Fay looked stunning in green sequins. Honor Dillon was beautiful in wedding white (her nuptials are around the corner), and Bic Runga looked glamorous in a gold Zambesi mini - even if it was the same one fashion-plate Petra Bagust was sporting.
Aja Rock suited red, but her dress was so short a passing gyno could have done a pap smear. Danielle Cormack looked lovely - save for the unflattering bowler hat she wore all night.
Colin Mathura-Jeffree, who played presenter, walked on stage wearing a meat dress in the vein of Lady Gaga. However, I'm told it left a nasty stench that almost made of the whippet-thin vodka promo girls chunder in the middle of a photo opportunity.
That wasn't nearly as foul as a photograph of a certain someone's erect genitila that mysteriously appeared in the media centre and was spread around for all to ogle. We hear the poser is the certain lead singer of a well-known Kiwi rock band beginning with S and ending in D.
I understand the lovely Gin Wigmore spent most of the time at the departure party in the bathroom at the Pullman Hotel with an awkward publicist stationed outside telling people, "it must have been those prawns". Hmmmm.
Marc Ellis was a surprise to see. He arrived with his new More FM co-stars Amber Peebles and Stu Tolan. Their first show starts tomorrow. Ellis is new to the radio world and evidently is not royalty like Jay-Jay Feeney, Dom Harvey and Mike Puru, who sat several tables ahead. Like all industry award shows, there's a distinct pecking order on the seating plan.
Talk at the after-parties was about how lacklustre the awards had been. I must admit, the ceremony whizzed past, prompting Kate Rodger to quiz: "Was that it?"
There were no surprises form winners or performers. Everyone agreed Brooke Fraser is beautiful, but boring. Even a Christian at our table dubbed her dull.
Many were particularly unimpressed with Thom Powers from The Naked and Famous, who is regarded as "the pompous one in the band".
The group took out five gongs, including best group and album of the year, but Powers came in for some ribbing.
Anika Moa took to Twitter: "Well done naked and famous. The main guy is a f***ing Norman but choice as album. Much deserved."
Powers responded: "Cheers for the public insult," prompting Moa to quickly apologise.
Wigmore wasn't so enamoured either. When the band went on stage to collect the best breakthrough award from Wigmore, who played presenter, Powers apparently asked, "Which award is this one? Breakthrough album or something?" I'm told Gin just stared at him and retorted: "Nah, you're not that big..."
Two All Blacks were also drawing attention to themselves for all the wrong reasons at the Warner Music after-party at The Nathan Club.
My moles tell me Ali Williams was acting especially childish, jumping all over the leather sofas and trying to tip them over. He was also seen trying to jump on people. What did he think it was? World Wrestling Federation?
His AB mate Dan Carter wasn't getting quite so "handsy on the dance floor as Ali," a source said. "But he still went and sat on top of Ali when he was lying on one of the sofas, on top of someone else. They thought they were hilarious. They were not."
Where were the fake dancing cops to pull an arrest for bad behaviour?