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Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Vienna : Opera Ball 2021 cancelled due to pandemic


The centerpiece of Vienna's famous winter ball season, the Opera Ball, will not take place because of the coronavirus pandemic, Austria's government announced.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement that although it was a "great advertisement" for Austrian culture, "due to the corona situation it would be irresponsible to hold the ball in the normal fashion".

Originally planned for February 11, the ball is a major event in Austria's cultural calendar, attended by the country's political and economic elites as well as foreign celebrities.

The famous Viennese opera ball has fallen victim to a ball that has only been canceled once since 1956 - during the 1991 Gulf War. "An opera ball takes a long time to prepare and we cannot currently assume that we will be able to organize a party for 7,000 people with music, dance and a relaxed atmosphere," said Secretary of State for Culture Andrea Mayer.

In the coming season, several other famous winter balls have already been canceled, some of which would be held at the imperial Hofburg Palace in Vienna. Under current regulations in Austria, some larger events may be held if the organizers can prove that they have additional security measures in place, but many ball organizers felt that this would not be practical.

The iconic luxury hotel Sacher in Vienna announced earlier this month that it will have to lay off a quarter of its employees, or 100 people, as tourism demand slumps.

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