The Life Ball

The Life Ball is an annual event in Vienna that is Europe’s largest charity event for people with HIV or AIDS.

This year’s Life Ball was Saturday night and the opening ceremonies were rained out. This is what the Associated Press had to say:

VIENNA (AP) — A thunderstorm has cut short the star-studded opening of a flashy Austrian AIDS charity gala known as the Life Ball.

Appearances by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese and Patti LaBelle — among other celebrities — had to be skipped after authorities issued a weather warning and ordered the square outside Vienna’s city hall to be cleared.

The annual party attracts thousands of revelers in quirky costumes and aims to raise money for people with HIV and AIDS. This year’s bash is linked to an international AIDS conference that kicks off in the Austrian capital Sunday (today).

Saturday night’s show also should have included an address by actress Whoopi Goldberg and a video message from Sharon Stone, as well as a fashion show.

Seeing this bit of news at work was perfect timing for me because I just recently finished editing my video of last year’s Life Ball. I did not attend the ball, but I did see some of the dress rehearsal and part of the actual opening ceremony.

My friend Jennica and I were meeting another friend for lunch near the Rathaus, the city hall. After lunch, Jennica and I were walking past the Rathaus, which we had already seen with all of its flashy set for that evening’s ball, when we heard singing that sounded like Katy Perry. I insisted that it was really Katy Perry, not just a recording being played because it sounded like a sound check.

We went to investigate and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the dress rehearsal rather than seeing the sights, but like every time I went to Vienna, I never went to any of the museums I planned on visiting, so I wasn’t disappointed.

We had tickets for “Frühling Erwachen,” or “Spring Awakening” in German for that night, which I had secured for us with my reward points from the grocery store. We got second-row seats for half price, and were pretty happy campers. After the show was over, we decided we should return to Rathausplatz to see what we could see.

Of course, now there were significantly more onlookers trying to see Katy Perry and Bill Clinton for free, but we still managed to see some of the fashion show and catch a couple glimpses of Perry and hear her sing.

For weeks I have been working on my video of last year’s Life Ball not because I have lots of video but because the video is at times terrible. The music is loud and sounds awful on my camera, and because I was at times filming through or over a fence, it’s a bit wobbly.

Nonetheless, you should check out my video. Also, below are pictures of the event. The theme was “Let Love Flow,” so the costumes and decorations are aquatic. There are waving mermaids and fish costumes and singers coming out of shells like Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” They guests were even taken to the front entrance of the Rathaus by gondola on a moat that was built for the event.

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