Events & Festivals in Salzburg
Salzburg and festival - obviously these two terms are related like nowhere else in Austria. The Salzburg Festival attracts the rich and famous from around the world for a few weeks in July and August. It is one of the most highly regarded festivals of opera and classical music in the world - beyond that, it also does theatre productions (which are less highly regarded). "The" Salzburg Festival is held in summer, but there are spin-off events such as the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele (Salzburg Pentecost Festival) dedicated to Baroque music and the Osterfestspiele (Easter Festival). In autumn, there is a Jazz festival in Saalfelden, the mountainous south of Salzburg.
January / February
Internationale Mozartwoche: A series of concerts dedicated to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - who was born on the 28th of January.
March / April
Salzburger Osterfestspiele: The Salzburg Easter Festival lacks the glamour of the summer festival, but has very high artistic standards. If people who want to see and be seen come in the summer, it is those who have a serious interest in music who come at Easter and Pentecost (see below). Comprise of one opera, one oratorium and two concerts.
The Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele take place 50 days later, at Pentecost. Just like the Osterfestspiele, they were started by Herbert von Karajan. The legendary conductor lived in nearby Anif.
All music in Salzburg: The "Chorfestival" is a series of choir performances; participating choirs come from all over the world, the local contribution from Salzburg focuses usually on Baroque music and Bach.
July & August
The entire city is "dressed up" for "the" Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele): Six weeks of opera, concert and theatre make the Salzburger Festspiele a key-event in the global scene of symphonic music and performing arts. Started in 1920, it ensures Salzburg with a constant stream of income. Make sure to book in advance. Lasts from mid-July to late August.
The "Fest in Hellbrunn" uses the late-Renaissance/early Baroque leisure palace of Schloss Hellbrunn as a stage. Here you can listen to choral music, opera and smaller concerts. Started in 1970 and takes place on the first two weekends in August.
The "International Folk Festival" attracts musicians from all over the World on the last weekend in August. In Hallein, they perform traditional folk music in an authentic way. The focus lies on European folk music.
The "International Jazzfestival Saalfelden" takes place in the small town of Saalfelden in the mountainous area of Salzburg, in late August. Three days of high-quality jazz; upon the occasion, artists from all over the World but mostly the US are flown in.
The "Salzburger Kulturtage" are a series of opera, concerts and theatre plays that aim to be a cheaper and more local-friendly event than the Salzburger Festspiele. Started in 1972.
The "Salzburger Adventsingen" was started by Tobias Reiser in 1946 - locals perform a nativity play and sing songs in the regional accent. Supplemented with readings from folk tales. The Salzburger Adventsingen draws about 40,000 visitors a year.
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Festivals & Events elsewhere in Austria
Vorarlberg - Tyrol (Tirol) - Salzburg - Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) - Lower Austria (Niederösterreich) - Vienna - Carinthia (Kärnten) - Styria - Burgenland
Traditions & Customs of Austria
Best of Fest: Most Popular Festivals of Austria
Ministery for Education, Culture and Science (includes folk culture)
Austrian Tourism Council for current events