Party firms deny exploiting charities
The directors of two promotions companies have defended themselves against allegations that they short-changed a Jewish charity and misled it over the share of the profit it would receive from a club night.
Danny Macabi, of Nana Life Events, and Darren Bloom, of Electric Parties, promote parties which have become the highlight of the social calendar for young Jewish professionals, often attracting up to 600 revellers to each event.
But the pair, who also combine their skills to run events together under the Juicy Gorgeous brand, said they had suffered since the concerns surfaced earlier this month, with at least one charity, Nightingale, pulling out of a previously planned club night.
Young Meir Panim, which raises funds to relieve poverty in Israel, had said that it will not work with them again after a disagreement over an event held in London's West End in February.
I am very flexible when I work for a charity as a disc jockey
The charity believed discrepancies in counting the number of party-goers at the event had left it £140 short of what it had expected to raise. Mr Macabi and Mr Bloom both said they had worked hard to smooth relations with Young Meir Panim, and have each voluntarily donated £96 to the charity.
Mr Bloom said: "We see these events as a way of ensuring Jews don't assimilate. I have run events since 1990 and I've never had a problem before.
"My conscience is clear. We want to work with charities again and again. It's not about the money, it's about giving something back. I enjoy that side of it." Mr Macabi added: "We could do events on our own without a charity, but in working with a charity, it raises money for them.
"If I work for a charity as a DJ, I
am very flexible if they have a tight budget. Not everything is about the money."
He cited a Purim party in February in aid of JNF Future, in which the proceeds were split 50:50 between the company and the charity. JNF said it had "loved" working with Nana Life Events and would do so again.
Mr Macabi and Mr Bloom said they always arrange with a charity in advance a guaranteed percentage of the proceeds, to be donated after an event takes place.
Last August Nana Life hosted "Encore Mania", a club night in Covent Garden in aid of World Jewish Relief. WJR had also said that it would not work with Nana Life again after it received a £1,500 donation out of ticket sales which it believed to amount to £10,000. However, Nana Life have explained that this sum was agreed with the charity beforehand.
WJR said its decision not to work with the promotions company again was based on the successful creation of its own youth section. A WJR spokeswoman said: "Working with Nana was a way to raise awareness of our charity. They organised it on our behalf and with our support. It took a lot of the weight off our shoulders."
She said that the donation which WJR agreed with Nana Life was "not as much" as they would have liked to agree but added that, as long as party-goers understood that only a percentage of the proceeds would be donated to charity, then the arrangement was acceptable.