Tuesday, 25. November 2014
02. 06. 14. - 15:00
By Kathryn Quinn,
Austria's Eurovision star Conchita Wurst stole the show at this year's star studded Life Ball Celebration held this weekend in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Stars flocked to the City Hall where partygoers dressed in elaborate outfits and a lot of body paint rubbed shoulders with stars such as former US President Bill Clinton, Latin singer Ricky Martin, actor Billy Zane, singer Leona Lewis, performer Courtney Love, singer Conchita Wurst and many more stars at Europe's biggest charity event.
The opening ceremony watched by more than 40,000 people in the city centre featured performances by Christina Perry and Ricky Martin but Conchita Wurst stole the show and was greeted with whoops of applause by the audience when she performed her Eurovision winning song 'Rise Like a Phoenix'.
Wurst said: "It's a very special feeling for me, and I am extremely happy."
And she made many others happy too. Legendary fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier said about Conchita: "Conchita is amazing, fantastic, the best of this years styling! I love her, she is the real thing."
The mayor of Vienna who opened the festivities said: "I want to thank Conchita Wurst. The message which we got from the Eurovision Song Contests represents a future we want to see."
Alongside the performances guests were memorised by a fashion show presented by L'uomo Vogue which featured Carmen Carrera, Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love and many more and outfits from Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivenchy.
The City Hall was decorated head to toe under this year's motto 'Garden of Earthly Delights' and the guests followed this to a tee, with guests partying the night away under the motto "Love is a bloom growing anywhere".
As Clinton opened his speech he said: "I feel very under-dressed here."
But the Life Ball also carries a serious message, the event raises money for AIDS research and this message is not forgotten in the celebrations. This year's Crystal of Hope Award was presented to the project SWAP in Kenya by Marcia Cross and Billy Zane. SWAP - the Safe Water and AIDS Project organisation based in Western Kenya that engages Community Health Promoters to promote health and door to door sales of health and hygiene products.
Organiser Gery Keszler gave a speech on behalf of charity Aids Life and Bill Clinton a long time supporter of the charity gave a speech on behalf of CHAI – the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Clinton said: "Amongst all the joy of this evening: the determination of every person we are here to give every child a better chance."
The ball had drawn criticism for using posters featuring a nude transgender model, Carmen Carrera. Photographer David LaChapelle designed two versions, showing Carrera with either male or female genitalia, along with the slogan: "I am Adam - I am Eve - I am me."
But Life Ball organiser Gery Keszler as well as LaChapelle said the poster was intended to provoke discussion of acceptance and this it certainly did.
Carmen Carrera added: "If someone has felt offended, then I am sorry. But I think it is important to show that there is more than just male or female in this world. That is my message."
The art work was auctioned off at the event and brought in 180,000 Euros for the charity. The specially designed Life Ball Audi brought in 110,000 Euros at the auction and an art work by Gottfried Helnwein was auctioned off for 70,000 Euros.
The Life Ball is now in its 22nd year and has grown from a small local event to the massive star studded event it is today. Last year the ball raised around 2.4 million Euros which went towards organisations to research, treat and prevent HIV and Aids.
How An Austrian Park Every Year Becomes A Lake
Spectacular images that show how a park becomes a lake each spring complete with underwater trees have been captured by two divers.
Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.
Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer
An Austrian political party has defended a decision to promote a local beer named after the village of Fucking.
Luigi Restaurant Cooks Up Delicious Delights For Winter Season
Brothers Luigi and Leo Doci who own the renowned Luigi restaurant chain will be cooking up a storm in Semmering this winter.
Church Porn Star In Court
A Polish-born woman who made a video of herself masturbating in church is facing six months in jail after a viewer called police when he recognised the woman.
Hugh Grant Cuddles Lamb On Animal Farm With Mrs Glock
Hugh Grant led a star-studded turnout at Austria's animal farm project which unveiled its Christmas market this week.
Cheating Wife Buries Hubby Alive For New Lover
A woman who married her sisterís fiance and then attacked him with a knife before burying him alive so she could be with her new lover is facing life in jail.
Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.
Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Controversy Over Advert For Fucking Hell Beer|
|Half Naked Winnie The Pooh Banned From Playground|
|Explosive Flash In Russia Blamed On Meteor|
|Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum|
|Bear Is Star Of Birthday For Soccer Players Son Aged 2|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.