Ladyfag Goes to Vienna's Lifeball: Report from Abroad


I traded in the Big Apple for a little apple strudel last weekend and headed off to Vienna to DJ at the annual Life Ball. Since 1993, this opulent celebration has raised money and awareness for HIV and AIDS. The city's breathtaking Gothic city hall is the perfect backdrop for its thousands of extravagantly, creatively costumed revelers. Though the event felt much more like a Klimt painting come to life, I couldn't help but think of my favorite Austrian family the Von Trapp's from The Sound of Music. Much like Fraulein Maria making curtains into dresses, people managed to take leaves, tinsel, fruit, garlands and other everyday objects and make them into elegant costumes.

The room was decorated like a Thai temple fitted with elephant statues and a large golden Buddha. Singer Adam Dugas and harpist Mia Theodratus performed as did UK's Gateau Chocolat. Not to be outdone, the Buddha's belly opened wide and I came out of it from a lift below the stage to perform with Club Sandwich. (It's important to always make an entrance.)

Dita Von Teese, Patti Labelle, and speeches by Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg and Sharon Stone were slated, but a thunderstorm cancelled the acts along with a fashion show by Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein and a performance by the Rockettes dressed by Diane Von Furstenberg. But we didn't let a little rain dampen the mood, and the party continued on till the break of dawn. To date, Life Ball has raised over 12 million Euros... dancing the night away, being with frinds and raising money for AIDS? These are a few of my favorite things.

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