I want to be on that guest list: super-rich splash out on party entertainment for New Year
For the world's super-rich, nothing brings in the new year with a bigger pop than a guest list that includes some of the most expensive names in music.
As the rest of us count the seconds tonight, Chris Martin and Rihanna will count the pounds after signing multi-million-pound deals for private performances. Chris Martin heads to Abu Dhabi for a £1m gig at the newly constructed racing yacht harbour, Destination Village, where, tomorrow, the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race begins. Table tickets for the exclusive event cost £4,300 (inclusive of "champagne, spirits and car parking passes").
Rihanna will perform at the famous Sandy Lane hotel in her native Barbados, at an event hosted by the founder of the UK's Global Radio, Ashley Tabor. British boyband The Wanted are lower down the bill, and among a glittering list of guests will be Simon Cowell.
But the most extravagant of all, unsurprisingly, will be the annual event at Roman Abramovich's estate on the Caribbean island of St Barts. The owner of Chelsea Football Club has reportedly raised the budget for the event from last year's £3m to £5m, though precisely how much of this will be paid to his star act, Red Hot Chili Peppers, remains shrouded in secrecy.
Mr Abramovich's 300 guests have been told to wear "island chic" for the event, which will run from 10pm until 4am. After that, they will retire to rooms on their host's fleet of super-yachts, waiting in the marina. The guest list remains highly secret. Last year, Demi Moore, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Stephanie Seymour, Ellen DeGeneres and the Star Wars creator George Lucas were invited. The year before, Kanye West and Orlando Bloom were treated to a £3m party with Beyoncé, Gwen Steffani and Prince singing at the event.
Beyoncé was a busy girl on the night of 31 December 2009, managing to perform both for Mr Abramovich and for the now deceased Mutassim Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan leader, who was also hosting a party on St Barts. Usher and Mariah Carey, who also performed at the concert, later donated their fees to charity.
But, of course, one doesn't have to be a billionaire, or even friends with one, for a little taste of superstardom this evening. Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga will both be performing in Times Square, New York, as part of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve show, now in its 40th year, on the US television network ABC. Closer to home, Kasabian and Chase and Status are performing at the O2 arena in London. Last night, a few tickets were still available, which at £37.75 might be a little more realistic.
Where? Sandy Lane, Barbados
Who for? Ashley Tabor, head of Global Radio
What's he worth? £480m
Where? Destination Village, Abu Dhabi
Who for? Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed
What's he worth?£11bn
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Where? Gouverneur Bay estate, St Bart's
Who for? Roman Abramovich
What's he worth? £8.6bn
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