• Austria's news in English

Conchita delights fans with free concert

Staff reporter · 19 May 2014, 10:05

Published: 19 May 2014 10:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

An eclectic crowd - young and old, straight and gay – many wearing fake beards, cheered and waved rainbow and Austrian flags as Conchita took to the stage.

Humbled by the attention, Wurst opened and closed the show with her winning ballad, Rise Like a Phoenix, as well as a stirring rendition of Cher's hit, Believe and her 2012 Eurovision entry, That's What I Am.

Fans enthusiastically sang along to a karaoke version of Phoenix, following the English text from a giant video screen.

"It was only a week ago. This is unbelievable. It means so much to me that I am not alone. It's beautiful to believe in a future without discrimination and hate, and I'm honoured that next year the Song Contest will come to Austria," Conchita told her enraptured audience.

Ukrainian students, Katya and Valeria. Photo: Kim Traill

Longtime supporter, Christina Pichler, travelled from Burgenland with her mother for the spectacle, which was broadcast live on ORF.

"It's absolutely incredible. She is really uniting everyone. By creating this figure of Conchita, she is showing there is major rethinking and change going on in Europe and all over the world, including in countries where this topic is so negative," Pichler told The Local. 

Ukrainian students, Katya and Valeria, were equally awed. "We think she's great. We were unsure about her at first, but now we're used to her."

But they don't expect their friends in Ukraine to understand their enthusiasm for Austria's new heroine.

Story continues below…

"We know when we post pictures on Facebook and people back home see we were here, they will say 'Ugh, how could you?'"

Prior to her performance, the newly crowned Queen of Austria met with Chancellor Werner Faymann and Minister of Culture, Josef Ostermayer, at an official reception at the Federal Chancellery.

"You have made Austrians very proud by what you have achieved at the Song Contest," an impressed Faymann told Conchita.

"Conchita stands for openness and freedom, and I wish that all of Europe will have such an image," he added. 

Wurst, wearing a figure-hugging white dress, appeared overwhelmed by the media attention, as she clutched her Eurovision trophy.

"I feel a freedom that means more to me than winning the Song Contest. Thank you, thank you, each and every one of you," she said.

"Austria has sent a signal to the world. This is overwhelming." 

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

Baumgartner 'failed to mention Red Bull' before jumping to Earth
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner has been accused of cheating his Red Bull sponsors after he failed to mention the energy drink just before he jumped to Earth.

Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available