Austrian arts festivals

Music Festivals in Austria

I list all these festivals because even if you hate music, theater, and dance, you still need to know they exist because they jack up prices in the surrounding areas considerably. We learned this the hard way in Salzburg as we booked a room the same day the Wind and Brass Festival began without realizing a festival was even on the books for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, being in the city at the same time as the festival was awesome- in fact, we spent the majority of our time in and out of festival grounds for most of our stay- but it did increase the amount we paid for our pension, which was not something we originally budgeted for. In addition- festivals seem to just pop out of nowhere in Austria. The Austrians dominate the arts in a way that puts other larger, more affluent countries to shame and they’re proud of what they create. As a result, there are a lot of small, brief festivals that are often not advertised heavily online, and you may not see them until you literally walk straight into them. Just a consideration for your budget!

Big festivals to watch for during high and shoulder season:
May:
Schubert Festival in Hohenems (obviously an ode to Schubert)
Vienna Festival in, of course, Vienna (theater, music, art)
Festival of Wind and Brass, Salzburg (3 days of big band, classical, jazz, and pop music)
July:
Shrammel Klang Festival (Woodstock of the Viennese) in Lake Litschau
Carinthian Summer in Lake Ossiach (primarily classical music)
ImPulsTanz in Vienna (dance festival)
Salzburg Festspiele in, of course, Salzburg (primarily opera and classical music)
Bregenzer Festspiele in Bregenz (four weeks of opera, but this festival zeroes in on lesser known works in the operatic world)
La Strada Street Theatre Festival in Graz (extends into early August; this is more of a gigantic dance party on the streets combined with unusual theatre productions held everywhere from a streetcar to an opera house)
August:
Musikfestival Grafenegg in Grafenegg from mid-August to mid-September
Saalfelden International Jazz Festival in Salzburg
September- Steirischer Herbst in Graz (runs from September 22nd to October 15th)

One of the bands playing at the Wind and Brass Festival in Salzburg during our visit.

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