Saving the summer of culture

It seems like a race with the virus to save the summer of culture: check to what extent relaxations seem possible to save as much as possible of the summer of culture for Austria and especially Salzburg. In a press conference today (25.05.), Austria’s Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and State Secretary for Culture Andrea Meyer (both Greens) outlined what the next few weeks could look like.

From next Friday (29.05.2020) the first hotels open their rooms again for guests, initially probably mainly for Austrians, because the borders are still definitely controlled until mid-June, even if only randomly. Tourist traffic is not yet allowed.

Outdoor goes better

When planning for cultural events, a distinction must be made between indoor and outdoor. For indoor events, the following rules apply until further notice: From next Friday (29.05.) up to 100 people can gather indoors, seated! From July 1 this number can be increased to 250, from August 1 500 or 1000 with a special permit. For outdoor events, other numbers apply (from 1 July 500, from 1 August 750 people) – outdoors with fresh air circulation, the virus has a much harder time spreading. Translated with (free version)

The following applies: The distance rule of one meter must be observed and a mouth-nose protection must be worn indoors if this minimum distance cannot be maintained. This could be the case, for example, in theaters with narrow rows of seats, in which case every second seat must be kept free, but a mask must be worn. State Secretary for Culture Andrea Mayer believes that events with masks are better than empty or half-empty halls. There is no need to keep a minimum distance on stage. Translated with (free version)

Against this background, the Board of Trustees of the Salzburg Festival also met today. President Rabl-Stadler announced “It is true, there will be Salzburg Festival”. The preliminary framework data: From August 1-30, i.e. on 30 days, 90 performances will take place at a maximum of 6 venues.

The plan was to hold 200 events in 44 days at 16 venues. That is a reduction of the offer by about 50%. If all goes well, that would be more than could have been hoped for four weeks ago, and the Festival’s strategy of not canceling this year’s Festival too early would have proven correct. In the 100th year of its existence, that would have been a real blow. All productions of the anniversary program that will not be staged in 2020 will be shown in 2021. The exhibition “Great World Theater – 100 Years of the Salzburg Festival” will take place and be extended.

So, from this point of view, we are full of joy and fervently hope that as much as possible can be saved from the Salzburg Summer of Culture. Stay tuned – here at

Salzburg Festival

Published 25. May 2020Updated 4. June 2023