It’s been over six decades since a beautiful, blonde woman running down picturesque hillsides in the Austrian Alps captured the hearts of millions of people around the globe. “The Sound of Music” was not only one of the most successful movies of all time, it also shaped the way people saw Austria and therefore it was the perfect theme for this year’s Life Ball, a charity that touches the lifes of many.

 


Julie Andrews in the opening scene of “The Sound of Music” (1965)

 

“An Homage to The Sound of Music” provided an exuberant and entertaining backdrop for Life Ball 2018 and helped to convey its crucial message – to celebrate life. 25 years ago, the charity event took place at Vienna’s City Hall for the first time and the goal is still the same: To come together and work towards a cure for HIV and Aids. In the most colorful and expressive way.

 

Our Life Ball journey: JFK – SZG – VIE

 

myAustrian is proud to be a longtime Life Ball partner, with our crew members welcoming guests on the Red Carpet and our especially branded Life Ball aircraft (in cooperation with the Vienna Tourism Board) bringing international supporters from New York City to Vienna. Though this year, flight OS 1088 made a stopover in Salzburg – the home of “The Sound of Music.”

Life Ball founder Gery Keszler at the stopover in Salzburg / © Foto: Mike Vogl – VOGL-PERSPEKTIVE.AT / 2018

Our guests were welcomed with tunes from the hit musical and Life Ball founder Gery Keszler explained why it was such a fitting theme for the charity event. “By recreating key scenes of ‚The Sound of Music‘ in our opening ceremony, we immerse ourselves in Austria’s history, culture, habits and clichés. The most important social values ​​such as diversity, tolerance and sensitivity also play a key role“, he said. And after OS 1088 landed in Vienna, our VIP guests like Patti LaBelle, Caitlyn Jenner, Kelly Osbourne and many more were indeed in for a spectacular Life Ball show!

 

Kelly Osbourne arrives on OS 1088 in Vienna. © Jürgen Hammerschmid

Our crew in front of the Life Ball aircraft, branded in cooperation with Vienna’s Tourism Board. © Daniel Egger

 

Welcome to the Red – White – Red Carpet

Our crew walked with them down the Red – White – Red carpet, spreading Austrian charm before experiencing a new take on the famous story of the von Trapp family.

 

Actor Gilles Marini with two myAustrian flight attendants at Life Ball / © Maximilian Röder / 2018

Life Ball / © Alexander Loidl / 2018

Life Ball / © Bernhard Fritsch / 2018

 

And then another blonde was dashing through the scenery – though this time it was not Julie Andrews but Austrian Eurovision star Conchita, of course with her trademark beard that had turned blonde for the occasion.

 

Conchita as Fräulein Maria at Life Ball 2018 / © Daniel Gossmann / 2018

 

She played Fräulein Maria, about to get married to Captain von Trapp – and everyone at Life Ball was her wedding guest. The ceremony was only the start of a „The Sound of Music“ retelling that addressed important topics like knowing your own HIV status, tolerance and the unified search for a cure. One of the highlights: Patti LaBelle performed the iconic song „Do-Re-Mi“ with Life Ball’s von Trapp family.

 

Patti LaBelle sings at Life Ball / © Juergen Hammerschmid / 2018

A brass orchestra plays at Life Ball 2018 at Vienna’s City Hall / © Juergen Hammerschmid / 2018

 

The Hills are alive – and so is the hope for an HIV cure

Like the movie with its heartfelt melodies and breathtaking images, Life Ball 2018 also told a story about love and perseverance – themes that are very much alive and important these days. We are proud that myAustrian can help to broaden the reach of the charity’s impact by bringing supporters from overseas to Vienna.

 

Life Ball / © Raimund Appel / 2018

Our crew at Life Ball 2018 / © Juergen Hammerschmid / 2018

 

Life Ball 2018 in motion

 

Want to see more?  You can still watch the highlights of our Instagram Stories or take a look at our Best of-video here:

 

If all this talk about “The Sound of Music” has made you nostalgic, you could re-watch the musical – or you could read our post about visiting the movie’s original locations and book a flight to Salzburg!