The Weeknd to Perform at amfAR’s Cannes Gala (EXCLUSIVE)

The Weeknd is set to perform at amfAR’s Cannes Gala on July 16.

The gala returns after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. “We’re back,” amfAR CEO Kevin Frost tells Variety’s Marc Malkin. “It’s happening.”

The exclusive dinner will look a little different this year. The festivities will take place at Villa Eilenroc, replacing the Hotel du Cap because the iconic getaway was fully booked. It will be an open-air event for about 400 guests, instead of the usual 900 under a tent.

The event includes an annual fashion show curated by Carine Roitfeld, and a live auction conducted by Simon de Pury and Sandra Nedvetskaia. AmfAR will follow local COVID regulations. Event chairs include Len Blavatnik, Rachel Brosnahan, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Heidi Klum, Catherine O’Hara, Roitfeld, Zoe Saldana, Yuh-Jung Youn, Milutin Gatsby, T. Ryan Greenawalt and Kevin McClatchy.

The gala has raised up to $15 million in a single night. While the organization is not predicting how much it will make this year, Frost is hoping for about $10 million. “Our fundraising easily dropped 40 to 45% over the last 15 months,” Frost says. “But we’re also confident we can recover fairly quickly once we can get these live events going again. Cannes is the relaunch of our live events.”

AmfAR is planning additional live events in September, October and November.

“We are laser-focused on finding a cure,” Frost says. “We were laser-focused before COVID came along and then the board decided to temporarily expand our mandate to include COVID research and even in that context what we’ve been focusing on is the intersection of COVID and HIV. Are people with HIV more vulnerable to COVID? If people with HIV get COVID are they more susceptible to worse outcomes? These are the things we have been concerned about.”

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