Individuals and companies can now buy tickets for an exclusive fundraising bash that is taking place simultaneously across more than 80 venues – from nightclubs to yachts – at destinations around the world on September 15 and 16.
The brainchild of luxury lifestyle entrepreneur, CEO and founder David Johnstone, in partnership with Conservative party treasurer and co-director Lord Stanley Fink, the inaugural Global Party will see more up to 100,000 VIPs invited free of charge to attend lavish functions hosted in more than 80 venues across the planet. In addition, around 10,000 tickets are available for purchase by the general public.
The cost of the tickets will either be £1,152 per person (including VAT) as part of a 26-ticket corporate charity package (valued at almost £30,000) that can be gifted to clients or employees, or £1,450 for an individual ticket – although these are sold in pairs so it will cost you at least £2,900 to attend. There will be an average of three packages and 60 tickets available for each city, with the exception of London, which will have more as it is expected to be the most popular destination with at least seven venues confirmed so far.
The price may sound high but tickets include free food, drink and entertainment, the choice to attend any of the parties around the world, networking opportunities and a “Key to Luxury” (but more on that later). But most importantly is that 67 per cent of the cost of the ticket is shared between the 12 charities that have been selected as beneficiaries –these include Ark Absolute Return for Kids (arkonline.org), wildlife conservation scheme Tusk Trust (tusk.org), the Pratham Education Foundation (pratham.org) and the Blue Marine Foundation (bluemarinefoundation.com). The remaining 33 per cent will cover costs so no profits will be made.
The first 1,500 tickets to be sold will also give those who possess them an invitation to the official private launch party at London’s Natural History Museum on September 8. On the day, venues that are hosting parties range from Rain in Las Vegas (palms.com), Bed Supperclub in Bangkok (bedsupperclub.com), Bungalow 8 in London (bungalow8london.com) and Greenhouse in New York (greenhouseusa.com/newyork), to Ocean in Copenhagen (oceanclub.dk), La Zagaleta in Marbella (lazagaleta.com), M1nt in Shanghai (m1ntglobal.com/club-shanghai), Travolta in Frankfurt (club-travolta.de), and Liquid Club Bern (liquid-bern.ch – pictured below).
Although the majority of attendees will not have paid for a ticket, venues will be organising auctions and raffles to raise money, and while Johnstone is hesitant to predict how much money will be raised, it is expected to be in the millions. He says: “I think together we can put something back especially in these uncertain times. There are 650,000 charities in the UK and to try and pick one, three or five is very difficult but I hope we have given a global aspect to what we are doing.”
So are charity and luxury compatible, morally or otherwise, especially with the recession just behind us? Lord Fink says: “They are and they are not. If you’re fortunate in life to do really well, I don’t think you should deny yourself luxury because at the end of the day most products of luxury life provide employment for other people. While I don’t believe in doing things that seem unseemly, now that we have gone through a recession, I have started to throw parties [because] if people like me can save during the good times and don’t spend now [in the bad times] what hope is there for the economy to grow?
“I always make similar donations to the amount I spend on a party, to people who are less fortunate, and it makes me feel good about myself. Call it my guilty conscience but sometimes if you treat yourself to something nice it feels nice to give something to other people at the same time. It shouldn’t be about guilt and luxury being evil it’s just I give a lot of my money to charity anyway, David came up with a phenomenal idea of the Global Party, it was a good way to launch our Global PR brand, and we thought if we are doing it why don’t we leverage the cost and raise several million for very good causes [at the same time]?”
He adds: “I think it’s very important for people and businesses to be seen to have a social conscience. Most people have an approach to charity that is quite personal but we are offering a range of causes such as health, education, the environment and conservation so that it can appeal to most people’s tastes.”
Charity aside, how does the “Key to Luxury” that all VIP and paying guests receive fit into it? In 2004, Johnstone launched Key 2 Luxury, a VIP lifestyle concierge service that offers companies the chance to buy a silver key ring to give to their most esteemed clients, associates and employees. Once in possession of a Key to Luxury, holders can benefit from pre-negotiated “privileges” at top-end restaurants, retailers, car hire companies, golf resorts, bars, clubs and hotels around the world for life, as well as access to an exclusive online address book of contacts at each venue.
Johnstone says: “What you want is a personal introduction – if you are a New Yorker coming to London and have the Key, and you choose Franco’s [francoslondon.com] for dinner, you now have a personal contact there who happens to be the general manager. So when you ring up and say you are coming to London on business and would like to book a table for four and that you are a Key to Luxury holder, he knows what that means – that, one, you are a VIP, two, there is a privilege attached and, three, it has empowered him because now he can show off. So you arrive with three clients and suddenly you are given a very good table and every third bottle of wine or champagne your order is free.”
As this “signature lifestyle accessory” is not available for purchase by individuals, Global Party is providing one for all guests is an added sweetener for those considering purchasing tickets. Companies that have availed of the Key 2 Luxury since its launch include Dunhill, Reuters, MTV, Thomas Pink, Hugo Boss and City Index.
Report by Jenny Southan