As an entertainment journalist I’ve been privy to many cool happenings, from going backstage with Cirque Du Soleil in New York to the Prince Caspian premiere party in Prague to the extravagant Monte-Carlo TV Festival. (I’ll never forget watching Dana Delaney dance near me in a nightclub.) This past Saturday night I enjoyed another wild evening: Castlestock 2009.
A celebration of the 40th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock music festival, Castlestock was one of Sir Ivan Wilzig‘s lavish annual fundraisers that transpire at his castle home in Water Mill, New York, in the Hamptons on Long Island. And what a place he has! His medieval-style castle comprises three stories, 20 rooms and 15,000 square feet, and his estate spans five acres. He opened up a portion of that to the public for his big bash. (Last summer’s event, Mina’s Kinky Bunny Birthday Ball, was quite racy.)
This time there was plenty of flower power on display, literally. The giant daisies dotting the stone walk and the backyard stood three or four feet tall, and there were plenty of normal size daisies available on the various blankets laid around the yard. And, of course, the practically nude models posing in the pool near the end of the night utilized flower props or paint to hide their business. There was a peace and love vibe all around, the security guards included.
The ultimate purpose behind all of this frolicking was to raise money for Sir Ivan’s Peaceman Foundation, which combats hate crimes and also offers assistance to sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including veterans of the recent Iraq and Afghan wars. The Peaceman himself Sir Ivan performed his new song, a technofied version of “Kumbaya” (the video for which can be found here) off of his new album, I Am Peaceman.
Known to many people for his techno remixes of Sixties songs and his appearance as Mr. Mitzvah on the second season of the Syfy series Who Wants To Be A Superhero? (along with being himself on various other reality shows), Sir Ivan has a compelling family history. His father, the late Siggi B. Wilzig, survived the brutality of the Holocaust, having spent two years incarcerated in the Auschwitz and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. Fifty-nine of his relatives died at the hands of the Nazis. After the end of World War II, the destitute Siggi Wilzig transcended his circumstances, emigrating to America, working whatever jobs he could, gradually making smart investments and eventually creating a multi-billion dollar banking empire. He made his fortune through the Wilshire Oil Company of Texas before running the Trust Company bank of New Jersey for three decades. Mr. Wilzig also became a world-famous philanthropist and established the Wilzig Hospital in Jersey City. At the request of then-President Jimmy Carter, Mr. Wilzig served alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Commission.
While the media and many attendees knew this information going in to Castlestock, there were no speeches given on Saturday night. The event was all about having a good time. People were either watching the famous Woodstock film on a giant projector screen out front by a pond, dancing to house music and remixed classic rock tunes inside the castle or feasting in the backyard and gazing at the beautiful people. Below you’ll find more images of the night’s festivities. It certainly was an experience.