FOR THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION
IN ASSOCIATION WITH BULGARI
Wembley Park, London, Wednesday 29 November 2017: Following the start of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations which kicked off in New York earlier this month, Sir Elton John and David Furnish hosted CLUB LOVE, an exciting new contemporary cabaret experience in benefit of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in partnership with BVLGARI, the iconic Italian luxury brand, at the former Fountain Studios in London.
The enchanting and colourful black tie dinner and cabaret, presented by long-time EJAF supporter and Master of Ceremonies for the night Graham Norton, saw 450 guests including Ellie Goulding, Pixie Geldof, Henry Holland, Lottie Moss, Gareth Thomas, John Amaechi, Richard Jones, Jon Kortajarena, Mark Foster, Dolph Lundgren, Lady Kitty Spencer,
Doina Ciobanu, Pierre Sarkozy, Darcey Bussell and Wendy Yu treated to solo performances by Sam Smith and Anne-Marie.
Over £1 million in total was raised from the evening to help LGBT+ people in Africa and Eastern Europe where they are so often persecuted, stigmatised and therefore prevented from easily accessing HIV treatment. Lord Harry Dalmeny of Sotheby’s performed the auction which saw one of the key auction lots, a one-of-a-kind 18-carat white gold and diamond BVLGARI DIVAS’ DREAM necklace modelled by Ellie Goulding, raising £50,000.
During the evening, guests enjoyed a tapas style sharing menu including wild mushroom ‘tumbleweeds,’ and roasted squash, sage and parmesan arancini followed by sharing plates of angus beef carpaccio, winter heritage salad, beef tagliata, winter heritage salad and wild mushroom sauté. Belvedere RED vodka martinis were served from bespoke cocktail trolleys, whilst the Gypsy Queens and Pam Ann gave guests individual performances at their tables.
Sam Smith then captivated the room with a set of his latest and favourite songs.
Sculptural installations by Italian artist, Edoardo Tresoldi, who has recently been included by Forbes amongst the 30 most influential European artists under 30, created dramatic talking points.
Following dinner, singer songwriter Anne-Marie took to the stage followed by a magnificent Kabuki drop and glitter storm. This marked the opening of the fabulously theatrical Belvedere RED After Party with fairground attractions including ferris wheel, hoopla games, strong man contest and tarot reading plus a lively dancefloor inspired by DJ sets from Me & Mrs Jones (Sophie Ellis Bextor and Richard Jones), DJ Fat Tony & Kitty Glitter, and of course Belvedere RED cocktails.
“This was a very special night with a very important fundraising focus during the run up to World AIDS Day. 76 countries, including most of Africa, criminalize same-sex relationships. The money raised this evening will go towards funding multiple organizations on the African continent and in Eastern Europe that we are working with to provide support, testing and medical treatment for this very vulnerable community,” explains Sir Elton John.
Vincent Reynes, Managing Director, BVLGARI UK, commented: “We are proud to continue to partner with the Elton John AIDS Foundations in the creation of inspirational fundraising events which continue to achieve so much in the fight against AIDS across the globe.”
Anne Aslett, the Foundation’s Executive Director, commented ‘the Foundation is the 4th largest philanthropic funder in the world to support HIV services for the LGBT population. We have a big responsibility to this group, so the funds raised from Club Love are a fantastic and essential boost to our work”.