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What you need to know about Vienna Pride and Nova Rock festival this weekend

This weekend the Vienna Pride Rainbow Parade once again takes over the capital, while the Nova Rock Festival returns to Burgenland after a two year absence. Here's what to expect as big events make a welcome comeback to Austria.

What you need to know about Vienna Pride and Nova Rock festival this weekend
Big events are back as the Vienna Rainbow Parade and Nova Rock Festival take place this weekend. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Two key events are taking in place in Austria this weekend – Vienna Pride and Nova Rock.

Vienna Pride is an annual event celebrating the LGBTQ community and Nova Rock is one of Austria’s biggest music festivals.

Music fans are especially excited about Nova Rock after the festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And Vienna will see the full return of the Rainbow Parade after a paired-back event last year.

READ ALSO: Will Austria see travel chaos in airports this summer?

So now that large live events are back, what can people expect?

For anyone planning to attend one of these festivals at the weekend, here’s what you need to know.

Vienna Pride

The 2022 edition of Vienna Pride runs from June 1 to 12 with a focus on the war in Ukraine and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The highlight of the event is the Rainbow Parade (Regenbogenparade), which takes place this Saturday June 11th.

More than 250,000 people are expected to join the parade and march through the city in celebration of the community – this year without Covid-19 restrictions or the obligation to wear a mask.

The Rainbow Parade starts at the Wiener Ringstrasse at 2pm. Attendees are encouraged to wave a rainbow flag or wear rainbow-coloured clothes.

The weather forecast for Vienna on Saturday is pleasant with plenty of sunshine and a high of 24 degrees.

Find out more about the event at viennapride.at.

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Nova Rock

Nova Rock is set to make a triumphant return this weekend as it graces the fields of Nickelsdorf in Burgenland for the first time since 2019.

However, there are already reports of flooding at the festival site after recent heavy rain, with some parking spaces still out of use. In a Facebook post, Festival Director Ewald Tatar asked fans to postpone arriving until Thursday (if possible) due to delays on arrival.

Traffic jams were also reported on route to the festival on Wednesday, according to Der Standard.

Additionally, motorists are advised to use a specially designated car park at the Nickelsdorf sports field to drop people off. From there, buses are transferring festival goers to the site.

The weather forecast for the first couple of days is not looking great with wet and windy conditions for Thursday, including a chance of thunderstorms. 

READ NEXT: Vienna vs Graz: Which city is better for foreign residents?

Friday is forecast to be mixed with rain, sunshine and wind reaching up to 60 kmh. There will be a high of 24 degrees.

The weather is then expected to be more stable on Saturday and Sunday with less wind, more sunshine and temperatures set to reach a high of 28 degrees.

Around 225,000 guests are expected at the sold-out event to see performances by Muse, Placebo, Seiler & Speer, Volbeat and Deichkind.

Find out more at novarock.at.

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CULTURE

Music, drama and controversy: What can you expect at the Salzburg Festival?

The annual Salzburger Festspiele - Salzburg Festival - is already hitting the headlines due its Russian connections, but there is more to the event than politics. Here’s what to expect at the 2022 edition of the festival.

Music, drama and controversy: What can you expect at the Salzburg Festival?

As the Salzburg Festival kicks off on Tuesday July 26th with a keynote address by Vienna-based author Ilija Trojanow, all eyes on this year’s theme of war and peace.

The title of Ilija’s speech is Der Ton des Krieges, die Tonarten des Friedens (The Tone of War, the Tonalities of Peace) – something that, according to ORF, has placed the festival “under scrutiny” as the war continues in Ukraine.

The Kronen Zeitung also reports that Trojanow – who fled Bulgaria in 1971 for Germany – is expected to reference Russian funding of the festival and the turbulence of current times.

Trojanow said: “Markus Hinterhäuser [Salzburg Festival Artistic Director] knows me, he knows my work. He knows that he will get a politically dedicated, but also poetic-musical speech from me.”

Meanwhile, a large security operation is underway at Salzburg’s Festspielhause and across the city’s festival sites ahead of a speech by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen as part of the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

Police Chief Inspector Hans Wolfgruber said: “The maximum level of security will be provided, but there will be minimum restrictions for the people of Salzburg.” 

With the festival programme set to run until August 31st, here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Salzburg Festival.

What is the Salzburg Festival?

The Salzburg Festival is an annual celebration of art and culture in the historic city of Salzburg, in the west of Austria.

It has been described as one of the most important festivals in the world for opera, classical music and drama, and the organisers sell over 200,000 tickets each year.

The event was officially established in August 1920 by Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal in a bid to promote peace following World War I and to support the creation of a new Austrian identity following the fall of the Habsburg empire.

Today, the festival programme still includes an annual performance of Jedermann, a mystery play written by Hofmannsthal, in honour of the founder.

Anything controversial about this year?

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, many organisations and institutions have come under fire for their associations with Russia – including the Salzburg Festival.

Last week, the festival organisers justified its decision not to cancel a performance by Greek-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis, who is scheduled to open the festival with his orchestra musicAeterna.

The Guardian reports that musicAeterna is funded by VTB Bank, which is currently under western sanctions and is often referred to as Vladimir Putin’s “private bank”.

Other venues in Munich, Vienna and Paris have already cancelled performances by Currentzis and musicAeterna, but Salzburg Festival Director Hinterhäuser has defended his decision by describing the conductor as a “counter model” to Putin.

In further criticism, the festival is also reportedly receiving funding in the form of sponsorship from a foundation run by oligarch Leonid Mikhelson who has been sanctioned by the UK and Canada, although not the EU.

But Salzburg Festival organisers have severed ties this year with two Russian performers – Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev – over their connections to Putin.

What are the highlights this year?

The opening ceremony will take place in the Felsenreitschule (a theatre) on Tuesday. Attendees will include Austria’s President Alexander van der Bellan, Salzburg’s Governor Wilfried Haslauer, Secretary of State for the Arts Andrea Mayer and Salzburg Festival President Kristina Hammer.

The keynote speech by Trojanow will be broadcast live on ORF 2, which will be followed by a performance by Currentzis and musicAeterna.

Other highlights during the festival include classical music performances by the Vienna Philharmonic, opera productions of Aida and Bluebeard’s Castle, and a youth programme titled Jung & Jede*r.

The full festival programme can be found here.

Performances and events take place at venues across the city, including the Schauspielhaus Salzburg, Kollegienkirche, Dom Platz and the Festspielhaus.

Tickets should be booked in advance and prices range from €5 to €445, although some key events, such as drama performances of Jedermann and Reigen, are already sold out.

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