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The State Opera may be closed for the summer, but music aficionados can expect the hot season of the year to open the curtain for a new festival almost every week
Calling Vienna the ‘City of Music’ is no exaggeration – in fact, when it comes to classical music there is no better place to get your fix. However, in recent years the city has been making a remarkable effort to put the spotlight on newcomer artists from other genres as well – and summer is the best time of the year to dive into Austria’s wide-spanning music scene.
Set at the end of June, Vienna’s behemoth of all festivals has become the official signal that summer has begun. Set on the scenic Danube Island, within the city, visitors can conveniently reach the site by metro or tram. Since its launch in 1984, this music festival has grown to become the largest free open-air festival in the world with an unbelievable three million visitors every year who can chose between roughly 27 stages and 150 food and drink vendors. The atmosphere is as Viennese as it gets and an opportunity to see the whole city mingle, dance and head-bang on a small island.
This festival launched in 2010 and has taken Vienna’s pop-loving hearts by storm. For over four days, the beautiful square in front of the Karlskirche gets turned into a stage for Austrian pop-bands, most of whom are newcomers or insider secrets. This is a great chance to get a feel for what the local music scene has to offer in a very intimate setting – often times bands that play the Popfest hit the charts soon after. The event feels like a four-day picnic with your hipster friends but also draws in the attention of tourists who tend to forgo the Mozart tickets and indulge in this free-of-charge experience.
Vienna has the blues – especially when the Jazz Fest is in town. Since 1991, the city has been dedicating this festival to blues, soul, jazz and world music – and the call was heard by plenty of international super stars. Next to the music acts, the venues themselves are a highlight as the city provides the best it has to offer from the State Opera, to the Museumsquartier and City Hall. More than 50 concerts will take place as part of Jazz Fest 2018, drawing 60,000 jazz fans from all over the world.
“East meets West” is the motto of this year’s instalment of Vienna’s first club and showcase festival taking place in various locations around the 9th district. International alternative, electronic, rock, and club acts will be performing as well as local artists and musicians from Eastern Europe. Waves Vienna launched in 2011 and even had a spin-off in Bratislava from 2013 to 2015. Anyone interested in Vienna’s club scene with an open mind for a broad musical program can’t go wrong here.