Life Ball 2019 Aims to Meet Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Life Ball 2019 Aims to Meet Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This year’s Life Ball “walks on the yellow brick road towards an end to AIDS”.

This year’s Life Ball “walks on the yellow brick road towards an end to AIDS”.

Photography: Olivia Peters

Text: Emma Li

On June 8th, one of the largest charity events in the world will return to Vienna’s City Hall. Every year, Life Ball (also known as Celebrate Life Ball, Protect Your Life Ball, and Get Your Life Ball) accumulates seven-digit proceeds that go towards global aid projects donated to international partner organizations to support people with HIV and AIDS. Coincidentally, the event will align with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York in 1969. This year, Life Ball is partnering with EuroPride, the pan-European event celebrating LGBTQ pride, which is also taking place in the same month.

In 1993, Gery Keszler and Torgom Petrosian founded the association LIFE+ which organizes the annual Life Ball. Behind the scenes, a couple thousand volunteers work to ensure that the event is a success.

As a part of the event, the LIFE+ Celebration Concert brings together international world level opera and theater at Vienna’s Burgtheater. Before the Life Ball Opening Ceremony, LIFE+ hosts the LIFE+ Solidarity Gala, a banquet at Vienna City Hall that offers politicians, leaders of corporations and NGOs, celebrities, and artists an opportunity to discuss their work on a personal level. The exclusive gala dinner’s highlight is an auction, which once included a cooler designed by Cavalli that was estimated at a minimum of $45,000.

Last year’s 25th anniversary paid homage to The Sound of Music and welcomed guests including Caitlyn Jenner, Adrien Brody, and Paris Jackson. For the 26th annual Life Ball, high-profile public figures from fashion, entertainment, and politics have been recruited as ambassadors who advocate for the fundraiser. This year’s cast includes Cynthia Nixon, Billy Porter, Carmen Carrera, and Amanda Lepore.

Life Ball's new motto, “United in Diversity. Walking on the yellow brick road towards an end to AIDS”, supports inclusivity by continuing a musical streak and drawing inspiration from The Wizard of Oz. The 2019 Style Bible nods to Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow”, featuring yellow, plus all the other colors of the rainbow.

Credits: Photos Courtesy of Olivia Peters

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