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Festivals

Conchita Wurst’s dream life

Festivals

Conchita Wurst has been living her dream since winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 – and now that dream has brought her all the way to Adelaide.

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“It changed my life completely,” Conchita tells InDaily of Eurovision.

“I travel the world, I can sing on stage and I can visit Australia.

“I released my debut album [Conchita] and I could tell my story in my book [Being Conchita]. What else could I ask for?”

An outspoken advocate for equality and human rights, she has also become a sought-after speaker at gay and lesbian pride events around the world, from London to Prague to Tel Aviv – and now Adelaide.

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Wurst arrived in town this week for her latest gig, as ambassador of the annual Feast Festival celebration of queer culture.

A festival highlight will be The Art of Drag – A Night with Conchita, a street show in the West End on Sunday headlined by Wurst and promising “feathers, sequins, lipstick and lip synching”, as well as an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest drag queen stage show.

“Believe it or not, I am as curious as you are,” Wurst says, when asked exactly what the evening will entail.

Conchita Wurst won Eurovision in 2014, just three years after her first public appearance. She was created by the real-life Tom Neuwirth, who grew up in a small town in Austria, studied at fashion school and briefly played in a boy band.

“In the beginning, after I created Conchita, I separated the two figures very strictly,” Wurst tells InDaily.

“Conchita had her own biography and Tom did keep his own privacy.

“This changed after Eurovision and everyone was so interested in my story, so I told the story of Tom as Conchita.

“It is funny to do this; [but] they work perfectly together.”

Conchita’s official website says that after dealing with discrimination all his life, Neuwirth thought that creating the character of a woman with a beard would be a catalyst for discussion about terms such as “different” and “normal”.

But asked by InDaily why Conchita retains her beard as such a defining feature – contrasting, as it does, with her ultra-feminine glamorous attire – the response is more straightforward:

“Because Tom loves his beard. So why shave it off?”

The 2015 Feast Festival opens on Saturday, November 14. The Art of Drag – A Night with Conchita is on Sunday night in George Street. Conchita Wurst will also be guest at a special literary event discussing her book on Tuesday, November 17, at Lion Arts Centre.

 

 

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