Stars of stage and screen joined more than 200 special guests at the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) inaugural Blue Moon Gala on Wednesday night, which took place at Outernet London.
The celebration marked 75 years of UNICEF helping millions of children around the world to live, learn and grow with the night itself raising an astonishing £770,000 to support UNICEF in continuing its life-changing work for children around the world for the next 75 years and beyond.
Hosted by UNICEF UK Ambassador, James Nesbitt, guests heard from UNICEF UK President, Olivia Colman, who gave an emotive opening speech, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, David Beckham, who spoke about the life changing work of 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund. UNICEF UK Ambassador, Tom Hiddleston, galvanised the crowd for the main pledge moment with a speech about the transformative power of education for children, and UNICEF UK Ambassadors, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman took to the stage virtually and in-person respectively to give guests an insight into the epic The Long Way TV series and their experiences seeing UNICEF’s work in action along the way.
The star-studded event also welcomed UNICEF UK Ambassadors, Eddie Izzard and Jemima Khan, UNICEF UK High-Profile Supporters, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Cel Spellman, and UNICEF UK Supporters, Lily James, Jonah Hauer-King and Soccer Aid for UNICEF co-host, Alex Scott. Guests were treated to performances from new UNICEF UK Supporter, and double Grammy Award nominee, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize winning singer Arlo Parks and iconic 80s band Duran Duran, who performed some old favourites and treated guests to tracks from their new album, FUTURE PAST.
Guests pledged their support at the evening’s live auction, with prize lots including UNICEF UK Ambassador Rita Ora’s sequined Miu Miu bodysuit as seen in her Rita Ora Live From the Eiffel Tower film, Andy Murray’s tennis racquet and lunch in London’s Bike Shed, hosted by UNICEF UK Ambassador Charley Boorman and Long Way Up Producer/Director Russ Malkin, all contributing to the £770,000 total.
The very special event marks 75 years of UNICEF helping children around the world to live, learn and grow. Born in 1946 out of the ruins of World War Two, UNICEF has been an unstoppable force for change for millions of children and continues to support those facing unimaginable crises to this day – from confronting conflict, Covid-19 and climate change to the impact of devastating inequality.
The Blue Moon Gala took place at Outernet London, a major new immersive media, music and culture district in the heart of London’s West End, and home to the most advanced immersive space in the world. Staged within the centrepiece of Outernet, The Now Building features an immense digital canvas standing four stories high across 23,000 square feet of floor to ceiling, 360-degree, 16K screens, offering immersive digital experiences the likes of which have never been seen before.
Attendees were treated to a spectacular display, with a ceiling of sparkling stars, and the themed ‘Blue Moon’ gliding across the walls. UNICEF films and images were shown to guests on the extraordinary screens throughout the evening, highlighting the life-changing work that UNICEF has implemented for children and families around the world since its inception 75 years ago.
The relationship between Outernet and UNICEF will continue into 2022 as the district fully opens with details to be announced in the new year.
UNICEF UK President, Olivia Colman, said: “UNICEF has achieved so much over the past 75 years, supporting millions of children to fulfil their potential and transform their lives. I’m honoured to have attended The Blue Moon Gala this evening to reflect on all that UNICEF has achieved for children and families around the world, and to raise vital money to continue that amazing work.”
UNICEF UK Supporter, Arlo Parks, said: “Playing live at The Blue Moon Gala for UNICEF tonight has been an incredible privilege for me, and an amazing first experience in my new role as a UNICEF UK Supporter. The venue looked wonderful and singing for so many people who care deeply about supporting children and their families was a moment I won’t forget. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event, and I’m overjoyed that so much money was raised for such a brilliant cause.”
The money raised from tonight’s Blue Moon Gala will go towards helping UNICEF continue its work for children around the world for the next 75 years and beyond, responding to emergencies whenever and wherever disaster strikes, such as Afghanistan, Yemen, and the current worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.