Beverly Hills - So what is a celebrity studded party in Beverly Hills like? You seen the photos in the magazines, the rich and famous co-mingling at a glamourous setting. But things are a little more complicated than that.
I covered the Vh-1's Big Night for a Big Cause: A benefit for the VH-1 Save the Music Foundation. That's what the press release called it. What does all that mean? I really don't know. I do know that a bunch of big corporations get together along with powerhouse public relations groups and publicists and a foundation to organize an event that hopefully benefit everyone involved. "Benefit" being the key word.
These events are very complicated. Esquire Magazine built this massive 17,000 sq. ft. Italian Villa in Beverly Hills at 11 Beverly Ridge Terrace that they call the "ultimate bachelor pad". They hosted the event at the villa and its on top of a hill on a private street with a guard house on Coldwater Canyon. All the houses on the block are way above $10 million. It's Esquire Magazine's Playboy Mansion. I'm sure the magazine is getting some kind of tax write-off.
I'm also sure the neighbors are not too happy about having hundreds of people invading their area to go to some party. The parking for the event is a disaster. They have valet service, but only for so many cars. After that fills up, there are remote parking lots on dirt construction sites that you can take a mini-van shuttle to the mansion. But if you are big celebrity arriving late, I don't think you are going to take the shuttle. The other problem that the cul-du-sac the property is on doesn't have enough room to turn-around in. So that means you have to make a broken u-turn to go down the narrow street, which is not a problem in the intially, but becomes one after they start turning away cars when the valet lot is filled. Now you have a grid-lock of expensive cars on the street having to make a u-turn. I saw one celeb get fed up and park his Land Rover on the street in front of someone's home and then walk up to the event. Its a long walk, the driveway for the villa is like 100 yards long alone.
Events like this one have a formula. Take a good cause, Save the Music Foundation that is supplying millions of dollars for musical instruments for public schools, a few sponsors, Moet Champagne, Intel, Cadilllac, Esquire Magazine, add a few celebrities, some famous like Kiefer Sutherland, and some like Fabrice Morvan of Milli Vanilli, add your entertainment media, like ET, Access Hollywood, and a group of celebrity photographers that sell pictures to the tabloids and magazines, and you have an event. Well they had some up and coming bands play and they served drinks too.
For most people these parties are work. Its part of the Hollywood machine that employs a lot of people. From the valet guys parking cars, the caterers, the people putting up lights and backdrops with corporate logos and rolling out a red carpet to stage a place where celebs can be photographed and interviewed, the reporters and photographers, the publicists and even for the celebs themselves, its work. Everybody is promoting something, whether its a movie or TV project, or a bottle of beer. (St. Paulie Girl was a sponsor.)
And these parties/events are on every night of the year in LA. That's a lot of work.