Each year, the Opening Ceremony attracts tens of thousands of visitors as well as 500 national and international media representatives to Vienna’s City Hall Square, where everybody can experience the 2-hour show for free. The Opening ceremony is filled with thought provoking speeches by international AIDS activists, representatives from our partner organizations, celebreties and government officials that highlight the serious mission behind this event – to further raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.
Previous speakers include President Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, Milla Jovovich, Whoopi Goldberg, Brooke Shields, Linda Evangelista, Eva Longoria, Catherine Deneuve, Janet Jackson, Liza Minelli, and Hilary Swank.
Stars such as Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, Natalia Kills, Adam Lambert, Anastacia, Kylie Minogue and Conchita Wurst balance the seriousness of the event with their creative and glamorous performances.They annually joined the social tradition of Viennese Ball culture with opulence and extravagance.
An important part and unifying element of the Opening Ceremony is the celebrity moderator. In previous years, moderators have included Heidi Klum, Nicholas Ofczarek, Ben Becker, Maximilian Schell, Tobias Moretti, Cornelius Obonya, Ruth Brauer-Kvam, the Austrian cabaret-duo Thomas Stipsits and Manuel Rubey, Gedeon Burkhard, Barbara Schöneberger, Sonya Kraus, and Marco Schreyl.