TICKETS are now on sale for the big new signature event in Chester’s social calendar, the UK’s first diversity ball.

The gala event will be held at Chester Cathedral on May 22 and aims to unite and welcome all the communities of the city, irrespective of ethnicity, ability, religion and sexual orientation.

The Chester Diversity Ball is a registered charity and hopes to raise funds for institutions that help integrate the community.

Organiser Joel Josephson was inspired by the continuing success of the world’s first diversity ball held annually in Vienna and now believes Chester can stage a similar colourful celebration of diversity.

He said: "We are standing up and making a statement. No matter who we are, we are all human beings and all command the same equality and the same respect.

"We are saying that this city welcomes everybody. Our slogan is Chester: A city of walls without barriers.”

There will be live bands and orchestras (from punk to classical), solo acts, DJs, sign-language singing, poetry readings, comedy and a diversity fashion show organised by the University of Chester.

There will also be a silent auction of gifts from business across the city and work by local artists and sculptors. Guests are invited to ‘impress us with your sartorial elegance and style.’

Activities will be held throughout the building with entertainment provided on four stages. Food and drink will be available on the night with the additional option of a £30 three-course pre-ball Italian-themed dinner served in the cathedral refectory.

Pre-booking is essential for the pre-event dinner and can be made on the Cathedral booking office.

Tickets for the ball cost £35 (£27.50 for under-23s) but those who rush to buy them now can take advantage of an ‘early bird’ ticket offer of £25 (£20 for under-23s).

They are available online at or in person from the cathedral box office. The ball is an over-18 event.