Absolute Events supports Starry Night fundraiser
Wednesday, 6 January 2021
starry-night-1A Starry Night - at Lambeth Palace
UK - When Ronald McDonald House Charities UK needed support to stage its Christmas fundraiser - A Starry Night - at Lambeth Palace last month, a fundraising group on Facebook recommended Absolute Events.
The charity supports families across the UK who need a warm and comfortable place to rest, eat and relax while their children are receiving hospital treatment. Like most charities, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, losing around 40% of its annual income - equating to around £6m.
Each year the charity stages an annual event at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square but due to the pandemic, this was unable to go ahead. Instead, the charity set about organising an outside concert with a limited audience but with a live stream so that the event, sponsored by Coca Cola Europe could be viewed around the world.
To support the complete process and enable RMHC UK to produce a high-end concert to both a live and virtual audience, Vanessa Simmons, head of community fundraising, brought Absolute Events on board. She explained: “This is the first time we’ve staged an outdoor concert and we needed to be confident that we were working with a team that really knew their stuff. Absolute Events were recommended to me through social media. From start to finish they were a joy to work with and we felt that they were just as invested in the event as much as we were in terms of how successful they wanted it to be.”
The event, which took place on the evening of the 15 December, saw guests greeted by a magical winter wonderland. Entering the festive lit courtyard, they were able to enjoy traditional carol singers, warm drinks and mulled wine. Included in the line up were the English National Opera Choir, the Male London Welsh Rugby Choir, world renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson MBE and soprano singer Alexandra Kennedy. There were also sketches from the artistic group Chimes for Children.
Jonathan Price, managing director of Absolute Events, comments: “When you come recommended, it’s vital you pull out all the stops to ensure a seamless, successful event. We supplied and designed all the lighting, seating and sound and helped RMHC UK source the staging and live streaming, then helped to coordinate those elements.”
Vanessa continued: “Without a doubt COVID-19 was our biggest challenge in terms of audience capacity and the number of guidelines we had to adhere to over and above staging a concert in normal circumstances. Everything else was well organised and well executed. We raised over £30k from the event which is excellent for a carol concert. Most importantly, however, we reached a new audience of people who had not necessarily heard of us before through the live stream. Jonathan and the team were wonderful to work with, excellent at communicating with us so we always knew exactly where we were up to. On the day itself everything went without a hitch and post-event the site was cleared ahead of time.”
Louise Donovan, hospitality general manager at Lambeth Palace, says: “As a historic building there are so many restrictions and regulations that event organisers have to adhere to. Absolute Events were such professionals and true to their word. Finishing ahead of time was the icing on the cake and our expectations were managed perfectly.”
Jonathan concluded: “We are extremely proud to have been a part of this event. It’s always good to work with clients who are clear about what they want and a venue that is positive, honest and says openly what can and cannot be done - it literally halves our workload. We are thrilled that RMHC UK was able to stage this event at the 11th hour just before London entered tier 3 restrictions and that substantial funds were raised for this truly worthy cause. This was our first event at Lambeth Palace but hope it won’t be our last.”

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