Cancellation of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival 2020

Cancellation Whitsun Festival

6 April 2020

Until today, we still had hope that due to the consistent and courageous measures of the Austrian government the situation would ease off in time and that the Whitsun Festival 2020 could take place as planned.

However, as announced in the press conference of the Austrian government on 6 April 2020, it is necessary to prohibit performances of all kind in Austria until the end of June, in order not to peril the so far succesful containment of the coronavirus.

With our deep regret it is therefore also forbidden to stage the performances of this year’s Whitsun Festival. Naturally, also for us health has absolute priority over all artistic and economic matters.

It goes without saying that we will refund your ticket amount.

Statement
Cecilia Bartoli

Dear Friends,

I am so terribly sorry that, due to the current situation, we are obliged to cancel this year’s Whitsun Festival in Salzburg!

I was so much looking forward to starting the rehearsals together with the fantastic Salzburg team, with my artist colleagues and to meeting our faithful public and friends who come to Salzburg every year or those who wanted to be there for the first time this year!

This decision breaks my heart, but one thing is evident – health comes first! There is no question that we, our whole society, must pull together and protect ourselves and our loved ones. These are difficult times for all of us but I am sure that the power of music will help us get through this.

Together with the Directorate of the Salzburg Festival we are already working on the exciting future, and I look forward to seeing you all as soon as possible! Until then, take good care of yourself, stay healthy and strong!

Yours, Cecilia Bartoli

With these words, Cecilia Bartoli, the Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, expressed her profound regret at the cancellation of “her festival”. The Directorate, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Markus Hinterhäuser and Lukas Crepaz, share her sentiments with all their heart.

The plan was originally to make a decision on 15 April about the Whitsun Festival. Today’s press conference by Chancellor Kurz, however, in which the authorities announced a ban on all public events in Austria through the end of June, made it reasonable to reach a decision earlier.

Of course the Salzburg Festival particularly regrets having to disappoint the many fans of Salzburg and of Cecilia Bartoli. However, health takes precedence even over the most beautiful artistic projects, and over important financial considerations too.

Cecilia Bartoli is full of ideas for Whitsun 2021, and of course we all, the Directorate and Cecilia Bartoli, hope that the summer festival can take place.

Information on Coronavirus

31 July 2020: Initiative of the Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival, the Salzburger Altstadtverband and the Wirtschaftskammer Salzburg have come together for an initiative in times of rising COVID-19 infections. On the one hand, this is intended to preserve the excellent reputation of the city of Mozart as a tourist destination and, on the other, to prevent the feared clusters from developing. Learn more about the Initiative Partnerbetriebe – sichere Festspiele (Initiative Partner Companies – Safe Festival).

8 July 2020: Information on Corona Case
A temporary employee of the Salzburg Festival who took up her position on 18 June 2020, after a negative initial test, was unfortunately tested positive for coronavirus today. So far, she has only exhibited light symptoms, such as a scratchy throat. Since she had been keeping a health and contact diary, as required by the Salzburg Festival’s prevention plan, the health authorities could immediately be informed of all Category I contact persons.

By way of explanation, a Category I contact person is any person who has spent more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 2 metres in the same room with an infected person.

Those Festival employees who are Category I contact persons are now into quarantine for 14 days. Preferring to err on the side of caution, however, the Festival is also testing persons beyond Category I (i.e. those who were in contact with the employee in question for a shorter period of time, or at a greater distance). All tests of the five Category I contact persons of the employee have come back negative, but they will remain in quarantine for the full 14 days.

Regrettably, the prevention concept thereby had to prove its practicability for the first time, which it fortunately did. The prescribed procedures and measures, for example the health and contact diary, ensured that the first rule of rapid containment, i.e. immediate traceability, was adhered to.
Preparations for the Festival are not endangered by this regrettable case.

Information prevention concept, 9 June 2020
The Salzburg Festival has modified its programme, reducing the number of performance venues from 16 to 8. The organization has developed a prevention concept which is currently being coordinated with the Festival’s council of experts and the authorities. It will be adapted continuously to accommodate any new developments.

The following members serve on the Festival’s council of experts:

Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Uta Hoppe – Head of Internal Medicine II of the Paracelsus University of Medicine, Cardiology and Internistic Intensive Care with A&E
Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Studnicka – Head of Pneumology at the Salzburg University Hospital
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Markus Hell – Specialist in Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, Medilab Salzburg
OA Dr. Bodo Kirchner – Specialist in Internal Medicine, Hygiene Commissioner of the Salzburg Emergency Hospital, also chairman of the Association of Theatre and Festival Doctors
Dr. Josef Schlömicher-Thier – Specialist in ENT and occupational physician of the Salzburg Festival

Key Points of the Security and Prevention Plan (as of 8 June 2020)

Modified and significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Salzburg Festival will take place in compliance with the measures decreed by the federal government and additional, self-imposed security measures. The prevention plan will continuously be coordinated with the council of experts named above and the authorities, and will be adapted to any new developments. Current key points of the prevention plan for audience and staff are as follows:

Audience

  • General obligation to wear a facemask, except when seated during a performance
  • Active audience guiding to support compliance with the 1-metre distancing rule: among other measures, the venues will be divided into sectors
  • In order to avoid larger agglomerations of people and thereby minimize the risk of infection, there will be
    • a significant reduction in performance venues and events; instead of the 16 venues originally planned, there will now be 8.
    • a separation of admittance and egress. Unlike regular Festival summer practice, there will be no simultaneous events in the Festspielhäuser, in order to prevent groups of visitors from meeting.
    • no intervals and no catering as a general rule. Since controlling queues outside of bars or toilets would be very difficult, there will be no refreshments. This means that all the bars at the Festival’s venues will be closed, including before and after events.
  • Personalized tickets, enabling authorities to speed up contact tracing. Ticket purchasers must show ID to the ticket-takers without being requested to do so.
  • Special measures of hygiene: these include disinfection stations at all points of entry and at neuralgic points, frequent cleaning of contact surfaces, etc.
  • Significant reduction of seating, in keeping with distancing rules: as a matter of principle, these are arranged in a chequerboard pattern. In areas with more than 1 metre distance to the seats behind them, other forms of seating allocation are being examined.
  • The audience will be informed via all the Salzburg Festival’s channels in detail and in due time before the Festival opens about the security measures then current and in place.

    Artists / Staff

  • Significant modification and reduction of the rehearsal and performance schedule and the artistic and technical operations of the 2020 Salzburg Festival
  • Obligatory initial testing and submission of a certificate of health for all artists and temporary staff, dated no more than 4 days before they begin their work
  • Obligatory hygiene regulations and rules on wearing facemasks
  • Division into three groups with corresponding additional prevention measures:
  • Red Group
    Stage performers who cannot comply with distancing rules and cannot wear facemasks: PCR screening, Health log, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

    Orange Group
    Artists who can practice distancing in principle
    Staff in contact with red group who can wear facemasks: Initial testing, Health log, Temporary facemasks in keeping with prevention plan, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

    Yellow Group
    Staff who can practice distancing at all times: Initial testing, Temporary facemasks in keeping with prevention plan, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

    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.

    Please consider the following changes due to the coronavirus:

  • Public guided tours and group tours at the Festival Halls are not taking place until further notice.
  • The Salzburg State Exhibition “Great World Theatre – 100 Years Salzburg Festival” could not start on the scheduled date (25 April) and will be on show from 26 July 2020 to 31 October 2021.
  • The artistic intervention “The Dream of a Fairy Temple” is postponed and will be on show from July to December 2020.
  • You have a question?
    Our ticket office for personal customer service is open during the usual opening hours, as well as by phone or E-Mail.

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    Questions and Answers

    How can I return my tickets for the Whitsun Festival 2020?
    The Whitsun Festival 2020 had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Of course you can return your tickets and you get a refund for your ticket price. Therefore please go to My Festival (Login for existing Customers).
    I have a question about my tickets for the 2020 Whitsun Festival.
    If you have any questions about your tickets, please contact our tickets office. Opening hours and contact information are available here.
    If a performance is cancelled, will my money be refunded?

    In the event of a performance cancellation, the customer will be refunded the ticket price in full or – if an event is cancelled – proportionately. Further claims of the customer are excluded if Salzburg Festival is not responsible for the reason for the cancellation of the event. The original ticket must be returned within 3 months of the date of the cancelled performance. After that any claim expires.

    Please note the rgulations considering the Jedermann on Cathedral Square: Since the performance of “Jedermann am Domplatz” is an open-air performance, a weather risk cannot be excluded. In the event of rain or an unclear weather situation (e.g. heavy rain or thun-derstorms), the performance may be moved to the Grosses Festspielhaus. Due to the special situation, however, it will not be possible this year to move a performance that has already begun to the Großes Festspielhaus. After 60 minutes, the performance is considered to have been completed; if the performance is cancelled earlier, the admission fee will be refunded on a pro rata basis. Due to the differences between the venues Domplatz and the Großes Festspielhaus, it is not possible to guarantee a side-by-side position in the event of a performance of the “Jedermann” in the Großes Festspielhaus, or to vary the position in line and spatial positioning in relation to Domplatz.

    What happens if I am not allowed to leave the country / am infected with Covid / am in quarantine?
    If attendance at the performance is impossible due to measures taken in connection with the Covid 19 pandemic, the ticket price will be refunded upon presentation of appropriate proof.
    If a performance is cancelled, will my money be refunded?

    In the event of a performance cancellation, the customer will be refunded the ticket price in full or – if an event is cancelled – proportionately. Further claims of the customer are excluded if Salzburg Festival is not responsible for the reason for the cancellation of the event. The original ticket must be returned within 3 months of the date of the cancelled performance. After that any claim expires.

    Please note the rgulations considering the Jedermann on Cathedral Square: Since the performance of “Jedermann am Domplatz” is an open-air performance, a weather risk cannot be excluded. In the event of rain or an unclear weather situation (e.g. heavy rain or thun-derstorms), the performance may be moved to the Grosses Festspielhaus. Due to the special situation, however, it will not be possible this year to move a performance that has already begun to the Großes Festspielhaus. After 60 minutes, the performance is considered to have been completed; if the performance is cancelled earlier, the admission fee will be refunded on a pro rata basis. Due to the differences between the venues Domplatz and the Großes Festspielhaus, it is not possible to guarantee a side-by-side position in the event of a performance of the “Jedermann” in the Großes Festspielhaus, or to vary the position in line and spatial positioning in relation to Domplatz.

    Can I return or change my booked tickets?
    Ticket orders and purchases are binding in any form. Optional ticket reservations are unfortunately not possible, nor is the return or exchange of purchased or ordered tickets. The new offer only becomes binding through the active acceptance of the customer and otherwise expires at the de-fined time. In all other cases, ticket returns are only possible for commission-based sales for a commission fee of 15% (club members 10%, sponsors free of charge). If the seats are directly adja-cent seats per performance, only both seats can be allocated in commission due to the COVID-19 safety regulations and distance rules. For this purpose, the original tickets must be presented. Salz-burg Festival does not guarantee the resale of returned tickets. If the necessary bank details are available, any return transfers will be made from the day after the respective performance date (or, in the case of several performances, after the last performance of the commission ticket). It is the customer’s responsibility to check the information on your tickets immediately after re-ceipt. In the event of any errors, the ticket office must be contacted immediately.
    Where can I find information on the Coronavirus?
    How to protect yourself and others, what you should know and what to do in a case of emergency you find on the coronavirus information site of the Austrian Government.

    The State of Salzburg has established a website especially for this issue.

    Prevention measures set by the Salzburg Festival can be found on this site: Info Coronavirus.

    General information on the coronavirus in Austria:
    Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Österreichisches Sozialministerium (in German only)
    Are there currently cases of the coronavirus in Salzburg?
    Current information on the spread of the coronavirus in Salzburg can be found on the website of Land Salzburg: Coronavirus Salzburg (in German only)
    Can I travel to Salzburg?
    For travel matters please visit the information site of the Federal Ministry
    Are there restrictions on public life in Salzburg and the State of Salzburg?
    Measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus affect the public life in Austria. More Information: https://www.sozialministerium.at/en.html
    What should I do if I suspect I may be infected?
    Should you seriously suspect that you or someone in your close proximity might be infected and you are within Austria, please immediately contact the Health Services by calling the number 1450. Please make sure to make initial contact only by phone.

    Outside of Austria, please contact the local health authorities.
    How can I protect myself from infection?
    The links below offer an overview of how to prevent infection with the coronavirus:

    Austrian Government on coronavirus prevention

    World Health Organization advice for the public

    Die Gesundheitsnummer (in German only)