The Roundhouse Gala 2015
So I hadn’t actually bought a seat for the Roundhouse Gala and so had to leave for the main auction, however I did blag my way into the pre-gala drinks in the members bar, witnessed all the preparations, the red carpet arrivals, walking through the big band’s rehearsals, spent time with the Roundhouse Choir who were performing at the event, chatted to the radio team covering the event, and even got into the main space where the event was taking place- so I have a pretty firm idea of what went down.
The Gala is an annual event held at the Roundhouse in the form of a large-scale auction, in order to raise money for the Youth Projects and bursary scheme that the Roundhouse offers to 11-25 year olds with the emerging artist membership scheme- a programme which I myself have been heavily involved in the last few months. With the cheapest seat being £500, going up to about £25,000 tables, the Roundhouse hosted a truly inspirational event, as the funds raised enables youths from all backgrounds to be able to take part in top-end industry training, and enables the Roundhouse to aid those who are in social or economic hardship to still be able to take part. The Roundhouse offers training in music, media, and performing arts, from full-time music industry training to par time festival production training, to weekly drop in nights in areas such as radio and DJ skills.
The drinks before the Gala began was me in my H&M dress swimming in a pool of the top-end designer clothes, being served wine and snacks the whole while, overhearing conversations on topics such as the SXSW festival and conference in Austin this month, overwhelmed to be part of the strong vibe of enjoyment amongst the crowd in the members circle overlooking the roundtables. With guests as honourary as musician Jamie Cullum, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Gavin and Stacey’s Rob Brydon, and Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, a range of members from all areas of the creative industries contributed to helping the cause by attending the Gala and taking part in the auction, which saw items such as artwork being sold for high-flying prices of a few grand each.
The Roundhouse’s emerging artists were even involved with the event, with the Roundhouse Choir being given the opportunity to perform at the Gala with jazz musician Jamie Cullum singing and playing the piano, performing Jealous Guy by John Lennon. The Roundhouse Round-up team – a team covering local events to air on the Roundhouse Radio once a month- were also involved with the Gala covering the evening with interviews with the guests and reporting on the event; This being an example of just how much importance the Roundhouse places on their emerging artists and so why fundraising events such as this Gala are so important.