The 19th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party took place at the Pacific Design Centre, Los Angeles on Sunday 27th February 2011.
In 1992, Elton John promised to hold a Viewing Party every year in order to raise money towards his Foundation’s fight against AIDS, until such time as a cure had been found. Since then, the event, which features a live streaming of the Awards ceremony, has been a regular and much anticipated fixture of the Oscars fortnight and to date has raised $200 million.
The evening has developed a fierce and formidable reputation both for the star-studded elegance of its entertainment and equally the generosity of giving to the cause, with sunday’s efforts raising just under $4 million. Benefactors for this year’s event included Hollywood executive producer Rebecca Wang who also attended, and US jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, along with cosmetics firm MAC Viva Glam, Walt Disney Entertainment and Cesar’s Palace.
Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish hosted a stellar line up of guests, including renowned actor Sir Ben Kingsley, Victoria Beckham, Oscar winner Jamie Fox, Australian film director, producer and screenwriter Baz Luhrmann, musician Rufus Wainwright and Jane Fonda.
A five course gala dinner was followed by a telecast of the 83rd Academy Awards and the renowned auction. This year’s prizes included a 5 night stay in Elton John’s and David Furnish’s Venice residence which sold for £150,000, a Taylor Swift concert package, including a meet and greet with the Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter which fetched $50,000, and an in-home cooking class from chef Ludo Lefevbre, owner of the popular touring restaurant LudoBites which sold for $20,000.
Following the auction Florence and the Machine took to the stage to perform several songs; she was joined by Sir Elton for a joint version of “Tiny Dancer” and “You Got the Love”
Co-sponsors for the evening were international jeweler and watch maker Chopard while American Airlines is the official sponsoring airline of the Foundation.