26 Sep Interview with Johnny Roxburgh, party planner
Johnny Roxburgh (www.johnnyroxburgh.com), party planner extraordinaire, has a career that spans 40 years and has earned him his title as ‘The Party Architect’. Over the years, Johnny has planned over 9000 parties in a glittering career that has seen him mastermind some of the most extravagant events for the world’s elite and design many high-profile launches across the globe. His career has also seen him hold the Royal Warrant organising many royal events at Buckingham Palace, Holyrood, Highgrove and Windsor – including the wonderful parties that The Queen hosted every Christmas for her staff and Prince William’s 21st.
You are hugely respected in the events industry and are always working on exciting projects. When you get a brief for an event what is your starting point?
I start by running a hot bath and crawl into it with a very dry martini, then let my imagination run wild. I am very lucky to have been blessed with a video in my head and can visualise new events in 3D and technicolour. This is often the best part of my day!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything that I see and feel. I travel endlessly and I am inspired by the sounds, scents and visions of my global travelling.
When not working, what do you do to relax?
I enjoy gardening, listening to music and travelling as there is so much to see and experience. I wish I could have two lives!
You have worked in many wonderful locations all over the world. Which is your favourite and why?
Venice, Venice, Venice. I love it! I would be thrilled to transform a gondola with Twilight Trees and be rowed up the Grand Canal with the blossom lights twinkling above my head.
You are very much a tastemaker, what do you see the next big thing in the events industry will be?
If the economy worsens post Brexit, I feel that everything will become more lavish as everyone will need cheering up. Rather like red lipstick during the war. I think the days of pared down shabby chic will continue to have a place, but I do wonder for how long.
What do Twilight Trees add to an event?
Everything. They are glamorous and have an almost infinite use. I am actually using them for a famous wedding this September; they’ll surround the ceremony which is taking place on the banks of the River Thames. I’m also using them for my own very big birthday in December then I will be snowing a London palace building and Twilight Trees will glitter in the night light as the snowflakes fall.
What would be your one piece of advice to someone planning an event?
Call Johnny Roxburgh.
And one piece of life advice…?
No matter what you are asked to do, always say yes. Unless it is illegal of course. The worst thing that could happen is that you don’t like it. On the other hand, it could transform your life. Life is here to be enjoyed so you should seize it by the throat and shake it.