News & Politics

Everything We Know About Barack Obama’s 60th Birthday Party

Even “scaled back,” there were reportedly about 200 people in attendance.

Photograph by Pete Souza.

Barack Obama celebrated his 60th birthday over the weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, and like anyone celebrating a milestone birthday, the festivities (a boys’ night, Sunday brunch, and rounds of golf) stretched across the weekend. But given the current moment in Covid, coverage of it has caused a flap on social media, where people are using the #ObamaVariant hashtag to bash the former President for carrying on with the party at all.

Here’s what we know about the weekend from published reports and social media:

The event was “scaled back” from a reported 500 guests invited.

Though the weekend’s initial guest list numbered 500 attendees, it was later limited to several hundred fewer friends and family as the more contagious Delta variant spread across the country. About 200 guests ended up attending the festivities, Axios reported. According to photos published by the Daily Mail, the event appeared to be mostly outdoors under sprawling white tents that took up most of the Obama’s nearly 30-acre property on the  island.

The party had its own “Covid coordinator.”

Attendance required submitting to certain safety protocols, overseen by a Covid coordinator. All guests were required to take Covid tests before the event, according to local publication MV Times. Guests were asked not to post pictures or videos from the party on social media; those who did have since removed most of them.

Celebrities from Beyonce to Tom Hanks made the cut.

While Bey didn’t perform, the Daily Mail reports John Legend and Alicia Keys both serenaded the 44th president and partygoers. President Biden was not in attendance, but he sent along a video message. (We can only hope it ended with his signature finger guns.)

Boldface names who reportedly attended:

  • John Legend
  • Chrissy Teigen
  • Alicia Keys
  • Valerie Jarrett
  • Eric Holder
  • Elizabeth Alexander
  • Pete Souza
  • H.E.R.
  • Erykah Badu
  • Trap Beckham


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A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen)

Others reportedly seen arriving on Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend:

  • Gayle King
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Oprah
  • Don Cheadle

There was swag.

The main party was on Saturday, and its many party favors were emblazoned with a gold embossed “44X60” (44th president, 60th birthday) logo: face masks, napkins, cups.


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A post shared by TJ Chapman | TJ’s DJ’s (@tjsdjs)

There was an espresso martini bar.

The menu reportedly featured a lot of meatless options, like cheesesteak eggrolls made with faux beef and vegan cheese and Spam musubi. A catering truck from Nancy’s Restaurant, a local seafood restaurant, was also seen arriving at the venue.

And yes, there was an espresso martini bar. Also: a s’mores station, and all the ingredients for Mexican hot chocolate.