Music Festivals in Austria
The sheer number of music festivals in Austria is simultaneously wonderful and daunting. The amount of beauty and culture literally spilling over into the streets is most definitely a gift to tourists everywhere. However, even if catching a music festival while in Austria isn’t on the books for you, it’s still worth noting when these festivals occur.
Many of these events will considerably increase prices for hostels and hotels in the surrounding areas. 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 music 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 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. In case you haven’t noticed, we think that’s the best way to discover most things in Europe but we do understand that some people like to plan.
Big festivals to watch for during high and shoulder season:
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)
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)
Musikfestival Grafenegg in Grafenegg from mid-August to mid-September
Saalfelden International Jazz Festival in Salzburg
Steirischer Herbst in Graz (runs from September 22nd to October 15th)
As always, refer back to the Austria homepage for more information.