The Rainbow Ball at the Parkhotel Schönbrunn is one of the stand-out events of the year for Vienna’s gay, lesbian and transgender community. It should be added though that this annual get-together in the hotel’s lavish ballroom is a seriously smart affair that plays out in full accordance with time-honoured Viennese traditions. So it goes without saying that formal eveningwear is an absolute must on January 31, 2015. The Rainbow Ball is also a major charity event, with the profits from the evening going to various projects run by Hosi (Homosexuelle Initiative) Wien. Taking place on two consecutive evenings (and nights) in February, the Kreativball is the alternative ball for gay and lesbian scenesters and their friends. “America – I want to marry a cowboy” will provide the inspiration on 6 and 7 February 2015.
At the Rose Ball, the only element that remains completely true to the classic Viennese ball format is the fact that it opens with a traditional Polonaise. And that’s where the similarities end at this outrageous disco alternative to the Opera Ball, which takes place on the same night at the State Opera House. That said, glamourous costumes and elegant ball gowns are still very much the order of the day at this event at the Kursalon on February 12, 2015. The Rose Ball is not only a tongue-in-cheek homage to Austrian ball tradition, but also something of a political statement where people from all walks of life are free to get together and party without judgment. It is here that captains of industry rub shoulders with museum directors, cleaners dance with brokers and homosexuals party with the straight crowd. During the course of the evening more and more celebrities appear followed by Opera Ball guests who are looking for an end to the night worthy of Hollywood.
- Rainbow Ball, 31 Jan 2015, Parkhotel Schönbrunn, Hietzinger Hauptstrasse 10-14, 1130 Vienna, www.regenbogenball.at
- Kreativball, 6 and 7 Feb 2015, Hans-Mandl-Berufsschule, Längenfeldgasse 13-15, 1120 Vienna, www.clubkreativ.at
- Rose Ball, 12 Feb 2015, www.rosenball.eu; Kursalon Wien, Johannesgasse 33, 1010 Vienna, www.kursalonwien.at