Video from Life Ball 2015’s Magenta Carpet.

The 23rd Life Ball took place on Saturday, May 16, in Vienna, Austria. The annual event is Europe’s biggest charity event; it creates public awareness for HIV/AIDS and raises funds to support HIV-related projects in Austria and around the world.

The Life Ball works closely with many international organizations, including amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research; the Clinton Health Access Initiative; Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project; the Elton John AIDS Foundation; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the MTV Staying Alive Foundation; and UNAIDS.

This year the Life Ball Crystal of Hope Award by Swarovski was presented to Lesotho-based charity Sentebale. The organization was founded by England’s Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso. Sentebale’s programs are targeted to help vulnerable children in Lesotho living with and affected by HIV.

The theme of this year’s Life Ball was inspired by the ancient Roman festival “Ver Sacrum,” or “Holy Spring.” Tens of thousands of spectators flocked to Vienna City Hall for the gold-themed opening ceremony, which concluded with a fashion show by Jean Paul Gaultier and featured a music performance by 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

Celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, Paula Abdul, Roseanne, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Osbourne, Graham Norton and Dita Von Teese attended.

During a tearful speech at the opening ceremony, Life Ball founder and organizer Gery Keszler told the audience, “I was one of the first to be infected in Austria. I want to give hope to those affected.”

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