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It’s impossible to imagine Vienna’s annual event line-up without the immensely popular returning highlights of the gay and lesbian community calendar. This preview of 2014 looks at some of the red letter days.

Regenbogenball

Rainbow Ball
 

Rosenball

Rosenball
 

Anyone who still believes that Viennese waltzing is the exclusive preserve of the straight crowd has got another think coming! The Rainbow Ball took the traditional Viennese ball format and put its own spin on it for the capital’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scene, and their friends and families. This annual get-together at the Parkhotel Schönbrunn is still a smart affair that plays out according to time-honoured Viennese traditions, and formal attire is an absolute must. But the Rainbow Ball is also an important celebration of gay and lesbian culture, with the profits from the evening going to various projects run by Hosi (Homosexuelle Initiative) Wien.

The Kreativball has come on leaps and bounds since its modest beginnings: these days this alternative event for gays, lesbians and their friends is usually sold out long before the big night. In 2014 both events will be inspired by the theme of “Australia/Oceania – sailor, stop dreaming”, in reference to a popular 60s tune. At the Rose Ball, the only part that remains completely true to the classic Viennese ball format is the opening with a traditional Polonaise. Glamorous outfits or evening wear are an absolute must for this event at Palais Auersperg. This outlandish disco is an alternative to the Opera Ball, which takes place on the same night at the State Opera House. But that’s where the similarities end – attending the Rosenball is something of a political statement. The Sauschädlball in the Summerstage pavilion on the banks of the Danube Canal is entitled Trash or Tracht [Engl. traditional Austrian costume]. Whether it’s fancy dress, a classic Alpine dirndl or even lederhose: only the most outré of outfits stands a chance of picking up the title of Miss Sauschädl – an honour which is also there for the taking among male hopefuls!

  • Sauschädlball, Jan 25, 2014, Summerstage Pavilion, Rossauer Lände (U4 station), 1090 Vienna, www.sauschaedlball.at
  • Kreativball, Jan 31 + Feb 1, 2014, Berufsschule Längenfeldgasse, Längenfeldgasse 13-15, 1120 Vienna, www.clubkreativ.at
  • Rainbow Ball, Feb 22, 2014, Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstrasse 10-14, 1130 Vienna, www.regenbogenball.at
  • Rosenball, Feb 27, 2014, Palais Auersperg, Auerspergstrasse 1, 1080 Vienna, www.rosenball.eu

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