• 34

    raised by the Foundation to date

  • 320

    in-person guests in attendance

  • 1

    raised through table bookings

Brief

The Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation was established in 1973 by retailer Iceland Foods. Since then, it has raised £34m for good causes.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the charity, Cascade proposed that the foundation hold a charity event at Liverpool Cathedral. Iceland had held Charity Ball events on a grand scale twice before, but never in a venue like Liverpool Cathedral.

The primary objective was to raise money for the foundation and associated good causes. The target was £750,000. The event would be self-funding, with Cascade tasked with producing a sufficiently impressive and memorable evening while not allowing costs to exceed 50% of the income.

Celebrating 50 Years of Fundraising

Response

In discussion with the IFCF Trustees, it was agreed that there would be no fundraising on the night.

All of the funds raised would come from a single rate for the tables themselves. The Trustees set that value of the tables.

To begin, we approached some of the leading West-End performers to cast the role of Christine and, to add to the spectacle, we cast three Phantoms. Once everyone had taken their seats, we plunged the cathedral into darkness, and opened with the cathedral organ playing the opening bars of Phantom. The musical accompaniment was taken over by the 32-piece orchestra as the lighting revealed the majesty of the cathedral above.

To support the evening, we produced a film that included some heart-wrenching testimony from patients interviewed over the years who are, sadly, no longer with us. It was a powerful reminder of the impact of fundraising.

Katherine Jenkins OBE was approached to perform five numbers. We asked Katherine to perform the first number while walking from the opposite end of the cathedral from the orchestra.

As dinner finished, the finale began. A 20 minute music and dance feast combining upbeat songs from the musicals Chicago, Moulin Rouge and Greatest Showman, featuring 24 dancers and 5 West End singers, all moving seamlessly between the three stages, with dramatic lifts in the Argentine Tango during ‘Roxanne’ and high energy dance in ‘This is the Greatest Show’. The finale of the show was a transition to Abba and, as the first bars of ‘Waterloo’ were played, hundreds of guests took to their feet and filled the central aisle, joining the professional dancers.

The music then changed from ‘Dancing Queen’ to ‘Time of my Life’ from the musical Dirty Dancing. The dancers took off their feather boas and began the Patrick Swayze march from the orchestra stage to the dance stage.

When the lead male dancer reached the centre stage, he met and lifted the lead female dancer running from the other stage, into the iconic lift.

Results

The plan changed little from the first sketches until the night, with more detail and colour added as the specialists joined the team.

The execution was outstanding and the planned flow of mood and energy worked better than we could have hoped.

The main measure of success was the fundraising. The budget was managed and the target reached. The charity were delighted with the outcome.

Stats

  • 90

    of guests rated the event as outstanding

  • 8

    westend musical legends performed

  • 170

    live sound channels

Testimonials

Quite simply WOW! HUGE congratulations to you and the team. Entertainment perfect, speeches absolutely spot on and the whole evening has ‘class’, sound quality incredible…but for me one of the standout things was the overall skill with which you sympathetically played to and amplified the Cathedral venue without disrespecting or losing any impact or atmosphere…outstanding!

Trustee Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation

Recognition

Shortlisted for Best Charity Event at Conference & Event Awards.

Experience matters

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