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Sail Away Themed Event

Themed events where a team or a community create something together, is always a very special experience for the guests and also suppliers involved in the event. This was certainly the case for a recent “Cunard 175th Anniversary Ball” we were involved in, over the summer. As a company Viva Live Music supports The Isabel Hospice: a local charity.


We were called to be involved in the planning stage of the ball and we suggested setting the ball in the 1930s, which was the ‘golden age’ of cruises. Visually there was plenty to go on, and from an entertainment point of view, the dance bands ruled the waves! As well as a band, we suggested having a brass band playing during the drinks reception as bands played as guests boarded. Another person suggested they whistled on the guests as they boarded the ship!

When I attended the event to event manage the entertainment, I wasn’t prepared for the astonishing transformation of a luxury marquee in the grounds of a country house. Everywhere you looked, there were details to take in, that created the theme of cruise boats in the 1930s. And what made this even more astonishing was that a lot of the decorations were created by the Isabel Hospice community.

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The guests were assigned tables: either the Captain’s table or a port location such as Liverpool, Southampton and Belfast.

There was a fantastic, art deco style bar. Where on earth did they get it from? The flags were actually from an old Cunard liner. Cunard were fantastic in supporting the charity. Unfortunately no one was available to give a speech as they were on cruises giving lectures!



This is my favourite decoration ; the bow of SS Isabel. The chimney had ‘smoke’ coming out of it, and there was a sound of a horn!



Cunard generously donated a number of spectacular memorabilia for the silent auction.


No charity ball is without a classy raffle and the prizes were displayed within the theming.


Every table place was decorated with a mini SS Isabel chimney!


The perimeter of the marquee was decorated with roping and life rings


Outside the local Sea Scout band played music whilst guests had pre-dinner drinks. They sounded wonderful, although it was slightly unnerving when they played the Titanic theme tune.

Someone had found a ‘Welcome on board’ door mat. Priceless!


Here was the interior of the marquee; there was so much to look at.


A bespoke flag commemorating the “Sail Away” theme.


Guests enjoy pre-dinner drinks. It wasn’t such a good summer was it? But at least it didn’t rain


The gorgeous gardens

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Before the event started the Sea Scouts played background music. Unnervingly, they included the Titanic theme tune as one of their pieces…



The guests were served a buffet; it was a shame the catering team didn’t wear themed clothing – or at least black!


Guests enjoying the evening.


During dinner, Viva Live Music’s wonderful 1930s jazz band played background music then increased the tempo for guests to dance the night away!

Swing band

It was a truly fabulous evening and the musicians and team at Viva Live Music were delighted to have been part of this amazing event, which raised so much money for a very worthwhile cause.


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