Nathan Robbins, left, and David Gifford-Robinson. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
B4 Black to include Ivory Layne performance
Tammye Nash | Managing Editor
The line-up for Saturday night’s 37th annual Black Tie Dinner includes opening speeches by U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and actor Matt Bomer, along with appearances by actor Erich Bergen, accepting the Media Award, TV host Jessi Cruickshank, receiving the Ally for Equality Award, and comedian/activist Dana Goldberg, returning to conduct the luxury auction.
Transgender pop star Kim Petras will perform, and local activist Kay Wilkinson will receive the Kuchling Humanitarian Award. And Black Tie Co-Chair Nathan Robbins said guests will also be treated to “surprise special appearance” during the dinner.
But, Robbins said this week, Black Tie fans don’t have to wait until Saturday night for the fun to start.
“We will be having our B4 Black event on Friday night again, like we have done for many years now, but this year we wanted to make it more of a experience,”
Robbins said. “BBVA Compass, our presenting sponsor again this year, has an arrangement with AEG entertainment, and they are going to host a concert with us Friday night at B4 Black” featuring up-and-coming pop singer Ivory Layne.
“Her music is very entertaining and very approachable,” Robbins said. “I think people will really enjoy her performance.”
AEG and BBVA Compass have both been promoting B4 Black and Layne’s performance through their own channels, which should help boost attendance, Robbins continued, noting, “They will also be recording [Layne’s performance] and will broadcast it across all their channels afterward, too.”
B4 Black is also the first chance for people to get a look at the more than 100 items that have been donated for this year’s silent auction, Robbins said. The list includes art, gift certificates, travel packages, home décor and more.
“The silent auction items are donated by our beneficiary organizations and by the community in general,” Robbins said. “The people who come on Friday night will be able to check it all out and even start bidding on items. And even if you attend Friday but aren’t there at the dinner on Saturday night, you can keep watching the silent auction, and you can keep bidding on the items.”
In fact, Robbins added, you don’t have to attend either Friday or Saturday night to participate in the silent auction. Check online at BlackTie.org to learn how to view auction items and bid on them online.
Several especially attractive auction items are held back each year to be auctioned off live during the dinner on Saturday night in what organizers call the Live Luxury Auction. This year’s Luxury Auction include a vacation package at an Italian villa, complete with miles from American Airlines; and a Sun and Ski vacation package that includes three trips — one trip to Maui, one summer trip to a new hotel in Aspen and one trip to Gay Ski Week in Aspen.
BBVA Compass has donated a VIP Coachella package for the already-sold-out 2019 event, and Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams have upped the total of the gift certificate they donate for a shopping spree in their home furnishings store to $15,000. The luxury auction also includes stays at a variety of privately-owned vacation homes.
The AfterBlack Party on Saturday also promises to be a lively event, Robbins said, with Morgan W. Cox underwriting the party for the second year, and Los Angeles DJ Jeremy Blacklow coming in to provide the music.
“The whole idea of the after-party is to give our guests a chance to keep the party going, to spend more time together enjoying themselves. We know it will be a really fun evening,” Robbins said.