Austria: Conchita Wurst enchants the European Parliament

by Roy Knoops 365 views

The winner of this years’ Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst from Austria, performed in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 8 October 2014.

Besides performing, including her winning Euroivsion song Rise Like A Phoenix, Conchita took her time to speak to the Parliament about tolerance, especially regarding the LGBT-community in Europe.

Conchita Wurst, the striking alter ego of Austrian singer and drag-artist Thomas Neuwirth, enchanted the European Parliament with her performance and bold message. Before her concert, Conchita gave a speech in which she again called for the necessity of tolerance for all people, especially for the LGBT-community, that in many European countries is still facing prejudice and violence. As Conchita stated during a press conference in Brussels: “I will give everything I have to support those who want that tolerance and respect. Sex, color and background should no longer play a role”.

Conchita Wurst’s performance was attended by a large audience, not only from members of the LGBT-community, but many others who applauded the Austrian singer’s voice and message. Conchita visited the European Parliament in Brussels on invitation by Ulrike Lunacek, the Austrian vice president of the Green Party in the European Parliament, and in co-operation with three other parties. And although Conchita Wurst has a powerful message and is not afraid to openly advocate her cause, she has no political ambitions herself, because being an artist also helps to spread her message: “As an artists it is much easier to give my real opinion. We have more freedom to do what we want”.

Conchita Wurst is the drag persona of singer and artist Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth (Gmunden, Austria, 1988). He participated in the Austrian talent show Starmania in 2006, eventually finishing second after winner Nadine Beiler (who would herself go on to represent Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011), and subsequently was part of the boyband Jetzt Anders! in 2007.

In 2011, Thomas created the persona Conchita Wurst, and in 2012 participated in the Austrian preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which Conchita came second with the song That’s What I Am. In 2013, Conchita Wurst was selected by Austrian broadcaster ORF to represent Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Eventually, Conchita won the second semi final and went on to win the grand final as well, with the song Rise Like A Phoenix, earning a total 290 points.

Stay tuned to for the latest news on Conchita Wurst, Austria and the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.