Summer Festival 2020
25 May 2020
The 2020 Salzburg Festival will take place from 1 to 30 August, but in a modified and shortened form, due to coronavirus containment measures.
This decision was made by the Salzburg Festival’s Supervisory Board in its special meeting on Monday afternoon. The Festival directorate of Helga Rabl-Stadler, Markus Hinterhäuser and Lukas Crepaz as well as Bettina Hering, director of drama, and Florian Wiegand, director of concerts, presented a draft programme covering 30 days as well as the outline of a security concept for all performance venues.
Half an hour before the meeting of the Supervisory Board, Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober and Undersecretary of State for Culture Andrea Mayer presented the decree determining important parameters for all presenters in Austria. This gives the Salzburg Festival concrete indications of how to proceed.
Landeshauptmann Wilfried Haslauer commented: “It is a great relief that this decree has provided greater clarity for all presenters of cultural events. This enables us to present the Festival, which is the artistic and economic motor of our region, after all. Fortunately, it also gives the many smaller initiatives which constitute the cultural diversity of our State a chance.”
The decree and the decision of the Supervisory Board have enabled the Festival directorate to announce the decision on the presentation of the Festival, originally scheduled for 30 May, at this earlier point in time.
The summer of 2020 will not see the implementation of the centenary programme announced with such joy and received with such empathy by the audience throughout the world this past autumn. However, it will be possible to implement a programme which is artistically meaningful and economically justifiable. Instead of 200 events over 44 days at 16 performance venues, there will be approximately 90 performances over 30 days at a maximum of 6 venues.
All the productions of the anniversary programme which cannot be shown in 2020 will be postponed to 2021. The centenary programme is to begin with the opening of the State Exhibition at the end of July 2020 and end with the closing of the Festival on 31 August 2021.
Of course, the centenary of the founding play Jedermann will be celebrated on 22 August 2020. The details of the modified programme will be presented by Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser at the beginning of June.
After the cancellation of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival and the refunding this necessitated, the Ticket Office of the Festival now faces an even greater challenge. At the beginning of this year, the Festival was proud to celebrate a new record in ticket sales. 180,000 tickets with a total value of 24.5 million Euros have already been sold.
The modified programme will feature completely different dates and a significantly reduced number of performances, which now forces the Festival to reverse and refund its entire ticket sales. When assigning new tickets, those in possession of tickets for the original programme will have priority. All customers will be informed personally and in detail on the procedure during the coming days.
Markus Hinterhäuser: “It pains me to be forced to cancel so many artists’ appearances for this year, as we had developed special programme constellations with many of them. Still, I am glad to have the opportunity to send a vibrant and powerful signal for the arts with this new Festival programme.”
15 May 2020
The Salzburg Festival’s directorate – President Helga Rabl-Stadler, Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser and Executive Director Lukas Crepaz – comments on initial announcements by Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and Federal Minister Rudolf Anschober, according to which regulations for cultural events are to be gradually loosened in significant ways from June onwards. According to their statements, in August events with up to 1,000 audience members may be possible if the presenter in question presents an adequate security concept.
The Salzburg Festival is pleased that after long weeks without live events, this means that artists can once again invite their audiences to experience art together.
What exactly will become possible can only be explored after the ordinance has been published. After all, the old saying that “the devil is in the detail” applies particularly to the current situation. In particular, clarification is needed on the conditions under which stage rehearsals and performances by orchestras and choruses will be permissible.
The only thing that is certain is that the new health regulations mean that the Festival cannot take place as planned before the outbreak of the pandemic, both in terms of programming and duration. Therefore, the Festival will present an alternative for this extremely challenging year to the Supervisory Board on 25 May 2020. A modified Festival seems possible.
The Festival aims to publish the newly arranged programme for the summer in early June. Details on the further procedure for tickets previously purchased will be communicated to all our customers shortly and will also be published on our website.
This demonstrates that the directorate was justified to pursue a strategy of not cancelling the Festival too early, but waiting and observing the development of the pandemic, setting 30 May as the goal for decision-making.
The Festival is optimistic that despite the coronavirus, it will be able to send a strong signal for the power of the arts, especially in difficult times
25 May 2020
The 2020 Salzburg Festival will take place from 1 to 30 August, but in a modified and shortened form, due to coronavirus containment measures. Learn more
15 May 2020
A modified Festival seems possible. Learn more
6 April 2020
As announced in the press conference of the Austrian government on April 6, 2020, it is necessary to prohibit performances of all kind in Austria until the end of June, in order not to imperil the containment of the coronavirus, which has been successful so far.
To our deep regret, we are thereby also prohibited from presenting the performances of this year’s Whitsun Festival.
The Salzburg Festival considers it its responsibility to do everything it can to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further:
- Plan for the Salzburg Festival
1.) Since 16 March 2020: All offices and workshops of the Salzburg Festival will remain closed for the time being until 13 April 2020.
2.) By 30 May 2020: Decision whether the Summer Festival will take place.
- Our ticket office for personal customer service is open during the usual opening hours
- Of course our online ticket shop is available 24 hrs at www.salzburgfestival.at and the ticket office team can be contacted by phone (+43-662-8045-500) and e-mail (email@example.com) as usual from Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 12:30 and 13:00 – 16:30.
- Public guided tours and group tours at the Festival Halls are not taking place until further notice.
- The planned start of direct ticket sales for the Summer Festival on 27.03.2020 will be postponed to 14.04.2020 and will then be handled exclusively via our online ticket shop.
- The Salzburg State Exhibition “Great World Theatre – 100 Years Salzburg Festival” cannot start on the scheduled date (25.4.). The artistic intervention “The Dream of a Fairy Temple” will also be postponed indefinitely.
We understand the general confusion and insecurity and have therefore added a page to our website with Frequently Asked Questions and information on the coronavirus.