On Wednesday, July 24, 2019, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) raised €5.5 million ($6 million) at our first-ever Midsummer Party in the South of France to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, supporting services, and advocacy programs across the globe. American Airlines, The Kraft Group, and Lily Safra generously served as Supporting Partners of the benefit.
The star-studded evening was held at Johnny Pigozzi’s beautiful Villa Dorane at the end of Cap d’Antibes, and hosts Sir Elton John and David Furnish welcome such luminaries as Alina Baikova, Michael Bell, Alfie Boe, Romero Britto, Tania Bryer, Joan Collins, Simon de Pury, Taron Egerton, Fat Tony, Rachel Fuller, Mathilde Gohler, Stjepan Hauser, Sandra Lee, Lara Leito, Julian Lennon, Chris Levine, Siran Manoukian, Chris Martin, Lily Safra, Caroline Scheufele, Pete Townshend, Lynn Wyatt, and Lily Donaldson among others.
The evening featured a cocktail reception and a sumptuous Provençal dinner with beautiful music provided by Stjepan Hauser of 2Cellos. After dinner, Simon de Pury hosted a live auction of unique and luxurious items and experiences, including the first edition of the new Bentley, a beautiful Yamaha piano used in the Rocketman film and autographed by Sir Elton John and Taron Egerton, a custom Gucci jacket worn by Egerton in the Rocketman film and tickets to see Elton’s farewell tour, a stunning piece of Chihuly art glass, and a trip to Los Angeles on American Airlines to attend our 2020 Academy Awards Viewing Party and stay at the new H Club.
Chris Martin of Coldplay thrilled guests with an amazing performance of “Sky Full of Stars,” “Yellow,” and “Everglow.” The crowd was brought to their feet when Martin was joined on stage for a surprise rendition of “I’m Still Standing” and “Rocketman” with Sir Elton John. DJs Fat Tony and Jodie Harsh set the tone for the evening by spinning tunes for the cocktail reception and after party around Johnny Pigozzi’s famous pool.
Elton John said, “It’s because of the consistent support and kindness of so many people in this room that we are able to commit the Elton John AIDS Foundation to real partnerships with world leaders that can make a future without AIDS.”
We are profoundly grateful to our wonderful founding Event Chairs for their leadership and support: Jamie Bell and Kate Mara, Len Blavatnik, Gerard Butler, Dale and Leslie Chihuly, Gwendoline Christie and Giles Deacon, Taron Egerton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tiffany Haddish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Quincy Jones, Richard K. Kraft, Spike and Tonya Lee, Richard Madden, Bob and Tamar Manoukian, Katy Perry, Bruce and Shadi Ritchie, Julia Roberts, Lily Safra, Caroline Scheufele, and Sharon Stone.
Through the impeccable credibility and reputation attained based on more than 25 years of extensive work, EJAF has emerged as a significant international leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. The Foundation advances public dialogue on critical and controversial issues related to the epidemic and challenges misguided policies and attitudes that block progress in ending the epidemic. Proceeds from the Midsummer Party will help support these efforts, as well as EJAF’s grant-making initiatives around the world.