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A glamorous party was celebrated under the banner of solidarity and tolerance during the flashy AIDS charity event on 16 May 2015 infront of the Viennese City Hall in Vienna. A large number of celebrities at the Life Ball including designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Hollywood star Charlize Theron and Mary J. Blige graced the occasion. A benefit concert was also held on 15 May in the Burgtheater with opera greats such as Anna Netrebko and Plácido Domingo.

The Life Ball is a heady blend of traditional ball culture, extravagance, glamour and outlandishness, thought-provoking performances, impassioned speeches and emotionally charged moments.

The inspired costumes worn by the ballgoers bring people together and are an integral part of the event’s charm.

The glittering free fashion show – featuring big-name international designers – which plays out on City Hall Square before the ball draws a crowd of up to 40,000 people. Life Ball tickets are a hot commodity, but everyone can enjoy the spectacular opening ceremony and fashion show.

Every year, 40,000 spectators follow the colorful goings-on. This year’s fashion show is created by star designer Jean Paul Gaultier, exactly 20 years after his legendary Life Ball premiere in 1995. A large number of celebrities attended this year’s Life Ball again without compensation, including Hollywood star Charlize Theron and Mary J. Blige, who gave a unique musical performance. Numerous celebrity models, including Burlesque queen Dita von Teese, Kelly Osbourne, transgender model Carmen Carrera, Lydia Hearst and Paula Abdul likewise presented the creations of Jean Paul Gaultier on the runway.

Gery Keszler, the founder of the Life Ball has been mobilizing big time politicians and celebraties from all over the world  to join his cause. In a press conference Keszler pointed out the main message of the Life Ball.

“I wouldn’t want all the glory and spectacle created by the celebrity guests to take the focus away from the original mission of the Life Ball. Our message is: Give help and hope to others, show solidarity, be tolerant but don’t tolerate exclusion and celebrate life. And above everything, our message is to use condoms because they’re still the only real protection against HIV and AIDS,” Keszler said.

Life Ball has been existing since 1993. The heart of the idea is hope – for a better future for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Austria