Oscar 2021: Elton John Asks Dua Lipa, Neil Patrick Harris for Reimagined Oscar Night Party

AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Pre-Party Announcement

Courtesy of Elton John AIDS Foundation
Oscar weekend continues to take shape with the addition of a virtual event from Elton John and his Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Typically one of Oscar night’s biggest draws, John and his team are reconfiguring the event as a virtual pre-show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris alongside John and partner David Furnish with a “stripped-back” performance by newly-minted Grammy winner Dua Lipa. The 60-minute special is being produced by Fulwell 73 at Rosewood London and it will be powered by virtual platform Cisco Webex.

Tickets for the show are currently on sale with four options available for guests beginning with a North American stream on April 25 and continuing with three additional streams the following day for the U.K., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a rebroadcast for North America. The streams in each region can host up to 100,000 attendees through Webex.

Said John: “Now more than ever, we need to ensure that one pandemic does not override another, and we cannot forget the 38 million people living with HIV globally who need our care, love and support so we hope everyone joins us for this special one of a kind Oscar pre-party.” Added Dua Lipa: “It’s such an honor to be a part of one of the most iconic Oscar parties and I’m really proud to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation to help tackle the stigma that exists around HIV as we need to build a kinder and more accepting world together. And to share the stage with Elton John will be a dream come true.”

For Harris, the hosting gig on behalf of his good friends John and Furnish comes after his starring role in the HBO Max limited series It’s a Sin, playing Henry Coltrane, a man who battles AIDS in the first episode. “Coming off the back of working on It’s a Sin about the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, this cause resonates more deeply with me than ever. The tireless work done by the Foundation to help end the AIDS epidemic is incredibly inspiring, and I’m proud to have a small part in the effort to continue raising awareness for the movement,” he said in a statement.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of organizers behind the weekend’s biggest events have announced plans to go virtual with reimagined programming, including Vanity Fair.