The 26th Life Ball took place on Saturday, 8 June 2019 and its theme was:
“United in Diversity.
Walking on the yellow brick road towards an end to AIDS.”
This year’s Life Ball embarked on a journey over the rainbow and landed with a roving circus troupe in a fantastic world of colors. Along the way, more and more bizarre characters came together, all “freaks” in some way, each in search of a home, heart, mind and courage. The common path manifested itself as the goal and in truth as never ending since these qualities can only be found within ourselves and must be developed together.
On the occasion of the 50-year anniversary of Stonewall, Life Ball was held during EuroPride.
Together we are a rainbow
Outsiders only remain “freaks” and homeless in a society for as long as they hide in their niches. This is why the 26th Life Ball embarked on a journey over the rainbow. When 50 years ago, at the Stonewall Inn, homosexuals and lesbians first rebelled violently against police harassment, the path to visibility was chosen, and the rainbow flag became its striking symbol. A rainbow not only exhibits beauty that comes from the interplay of diversity, it is also a delicate creation, a bridge between heaven and earth, a gateway to a world of dreams and imagination, as in Judy Garland’s song “Over the Rainbow”, which has always been a fixture of the gay subculture.
We have come a long way, but there is still a way to go
This year’s Life Ball built a thematic bridge to the subsequent EuroPride and reflected that which is different in the mirror of the ordinary. Just as a rainbow is sunlight shining through rain, society also needs both sides. But who determines what a “freak” is? And who can change these categories? Is not someone who glorifies violence a freak? Or simply someone who looks unusual?
The starting point of our journey was a wandering circus troupe, which pitched its tent in front of the town hall. A colorful family, border crossers on the margins of society, answering the call of the different, the magical and the risky. A whirlwind picked up, and the circus performance took an unusual course. When finally a good fairy appeared and pointed the way over a yellow road, a journey began through the world of colors. Along the way, more and more people joined in, but the emerald town hall was not the endpoint: the path, the yellow road, led far out into the whole, wide world.
If you want to get creatively inspired by this years Life Ball motto you can look through the Style Bible here:
Information for visitors of the City Hall Square
The gastronomy offer at the City Hall Square opened at 3 pm, offering drinks and snacks to everyone who came hours before the opening show to secure a good place, or who wanted to walk around the area a little. The volunteer gastro teams included: *any act, Puff die Bar, SNEAK In, Juice Factory, Red Carpet, L´OR, Stillbruch and Kisss.
From here, it was possible to watch the procession down the Red Carpet in a relaxed atmosphere. Those who did not arrive at the City Hall Square early enough were also able to watch the show, as well as the procession down the red carpet, on video walls.
In order to meet current security demands, security inspections applied to all guests of this year‘s Life Ball. Afterward the tickets were checked, guests received their access bracelets and needed to go through a brief security check (body check, bag inspection). As in other large events, bottles or other objects that may endanger other ball visitors were not permitted in the festival area.
Style Contest SAP Voting APP
In the scope of the ball, Suzuki presented awards for the best and most extraordinary outfits among the guests in the style contest. A dedicated zone at the Red Carpet was used to select the 100 nominees for the Style Contest. The prominent jury chose the Life Ball Queen/King. Not only the official jury could choose its favourite costumes, the guests of the Life Ball were also able to download the SAP Voting APP to elect their Life Ball King/Queen: https://sap-experience.live Photographers took pictures of the best dressed guests on the Red Carpet and people voted for their favourite costume. The costume contest award was presented after midnight in the mirror tent in the Arkadenhof. The winner received a Suzuki SWIFT 1.2 Dual
Mobile Test Station
The ultimate goal of Life Ball is to end AIDS. To reach this goal it is important to know your status. The mobile test station of LIFE+, the Aids Hilfe Vienna and AbbVie came back to the Life Ball 2019. In addition to the free HIV tests, they also offered free hepatitis C tests by AbbVie this year.
Late Night Tickets
For last-minute guests there were Late Night Tickets available this year. These tickets could be purchased at the town hall entrance in Lichtenfelsgasse from 01 am onwards.
Review: Life Ball 2018
As usual, international stars and great personalities were on stage in 2019. Representatives of the partner organizations were Katie Holmes (amfAR – The Foundation for AIDS Research) and Bill Roedy (Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS). This year’s Style Jury consisted of Dirk Heidemann, Julian FM Stoeckel, Ralph Morgenstern, Ricardo Simonetti and Ryan Burke. Of course the protagonists of this year’s Style Bilbe attended the ball: Amanda Lepore, August Getty, Carmen Carrera, Court Pineiro, Dita Von Teese, Gilles Marini, Jan Sport, Jenny Shimizu, Jessie Paege, Kelly Osbourne, Lili Paul, Michelle Harper, Nyle DiMarco, Scarlet Envy, Taryn Manning, Tatiana Patitz, Yasmine Petty, Yuhuha Hamasaki. Francois Sagat, testimonial of the current U = U campaign, was also in Vienna. In addition, the following stars performed live on stage: Alan Cumming, Alaska Thunderfuck, Aura Dione, Dana International, Deborah Cox, Keala Settle, Lea DeLaria, Lorna Luft, Piotr Beczala and Ronan Park.
Life Ball Party at Volksgarten
Everybody who did not have the chance to catch a ticket for the Life Ball could join the party at Volksgarten right after the Opening Ceremony on Rathausplatz.
The Life Ball After Hour at Volkgarten was the ideal party for all night owls who still had enough energy to party after sunrise.
The Life Ball Party at Volksgarten has been part of Life Ball nights for many years and continued to indulge music fans with an extraordinary DJ-Line-Up.
LIFE BALL HISTORY 1993 - 2017
in the fight against HIV
LIFE + considers itself responsible to continuously promotes awareness and public consciousness about the AIDS epidemic. Through Life Ball and our additional, yearly activities, LIFE+ works to raise funds to help those impacted by and living with HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma and discrimination.
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