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Wiener Festwochen – May 12 through June 18, 2017

Wr.Festwochen Battlefield_1 (c) Caroline Moreau

Vienna’s fifth season

The annual arts and cultural peak season kicks off on May 12, 2017. For five weeks – through June 18, 2017 – current theatrical works and more in the form of 44 productions from 28 countries will be offered at various performance venues. This year, they should be innovative, creative and new, as the new director of the traditional Wiener Festwochen, Tomas Zierhofer-Kin, favors new concepts, genres and artists. Numerous performances on the program offer free admission, which will accommodate newcomers and stimulate “celebrating culture.”

Festivities should be celebrated whenever they occur…

Wr. Festwochen Lady Eats Apple_1 (c) Jeff Busby

This has been the case for the Wiener Festwochen for a long time already. The first Festwochen events took place already in 1927. The festival was reestablished in 1951 after the Second World War, while Vienna was still occupied by the Allied forces. In 1952, the Festwochen were one of the founding organizations of the European Festivals Association.

A new era begins in 2017 for the Wiener Festwochen. The new director, Tomas Zierhofer-Kin, views – rightly – festivals as special collective events that turn everyday life and the order of things on their heads, thereby creating exceptional mental, emotional and societal circumstances.

The Wiener Festwochen considers itself a “festival for the city,” as a sensuous experiment and as a stimulus to call prevalent patterns of thought and action into question.

The opening of the Wiener Festwochen takes place at the Vienna Rathausplatz on May 12, 2017. It will get off to a grand start – you can look forward to a first-rate free open-air concert in which Conchita and the Vienna Symphony encounter artists such as Harri Stojka, Molden/Resetarits/Soyka/Wirth, MoZuluArt , Russkaja and others in exciting duets and usual arrangements.

Invitation to three thematic focal points

Wr.Festwochen The Aftermath Dislocation Principle_3 (c) Jimmy Cauty__L-13

The discourse section “Academy of Unlearning,” with free lectures and activities, forms a new focal point.

At the “Performeum,” various performance categories will be shown on the grounds of Austrian Rail in Favoriten (Vienna’s 10th District), including the “House of Realness,” which works with queer identity.

“Hyperreality” forms the third focal point of club culture. New sounds from the club and electronic music scene will fill Neugebäude Palace. There, on several stages, Holly Herndon, Merzbow, Forest Swords and others will make guest appearances.

Many productions will make people sit up and take notice, such as the Canadian collective Mammalian Diving Reflex, which in its “Haircuts by Children” lays hands on the audience, or deals with the taboo topic of sex in advanced age (“All The Sex I’ve Ever Had”). The performance “Democracy in America” by Romeo Castellucci and “Traiskirchen. The Musical” by Die Schweigende Mehrheit are politically and globally shaped.

Mozart’s classic opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) will be adapted by Gintersdorfer/Klassen and Benedikt von Peter: “Les Robots ne connaissent pas le Blues” (“Robots Don’t Know the Blues”) celebrates its premiere on May 26.

As you can see, the festival is well worth a visit. And we can’t put it better than director Tomas Zierhofer-Kin (quote): “Culture everywhere! From high culture to subculture to counterculture: We’ll place the arts world at your feet.”

Wiener Festwochen 2017
May 12 – June 18, 2017
For details on the program, information, tickets and more, visit:


Tip: If you’d like to experience the comprehensive cultural pleasures over several days, the Schick Hotels in Vienna are great places to stay. Take advantage of the central and easily accessible locations of the five charming private hotels and enjoy different varieties of tradition and Viennese hospitality.


Data and image sources: © Pressebüro Wiener Festwochen.
Many thanks for your kind support.


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