The Vienna Life Ball, which has raised more than €30m for HIV/Aids charities in Austria and around the world, is to be held for the 26th and final year. Organisers promise it will be flashy, colourful and loud.
The event has become a major fixture on the Viennese calendar, attracting up to 45,000 spectators a year. Previous attendees include Elton John and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
But organisers now say it is “increasingly difficult to find sponsors” due to progress in tackling the virus.
Life Ball founder and organiser Gery Keszler said in a statement: “We achieved more than we ever dared hope. I am so eternally grateful. It is now time to bring this project to a fitting conclusion. We have achieved a lot in the fight against Aids. Aids has changed from a death sentence to being a chronic disease.” Keszler noted that there are still major challenges in Africa and around the world and that funds raised from this year’s ball will target areas “where the problem is still acute.”
The theme of the final Life Ball is “United in Diversity,” and will feature a roving circus troupe on a journey over the rainbow to a fantastic, diverse world of colours.
Top level guests bringing international glamour include actress and amfAR ambassador Katie Holmes, burlesque star Dita von Teese and Golden Globe winner Keala Settle. Austrian singer and drag queen Conchita hosts the opening show, together with Dianne Brill, the muse of Andy Warhol.
Anyone without tickets for the ball can celebrate at the Life Ball party in the Volksgarten Disco from 11.00 pm.
Date written/update: 2019-05-21