In March 2020, the physical space – where we work, meet and engage collectively with one another – was taken away from us. A few weeks after publishing the programme of the 2020 edition of the Wiener Festwochen, we painfully had to accept that the festival we had planned would not be taking place, at least not in the form initially conceived. The ‘live’, collective experience of our programme had been made impossible.
We started to experiment with ways of translating it through different mediums. We published a printed supplement with Der Standard exploring the Festival’s content, echoing the voices of some of the artists we had intended to invite to Vienna. Digital tools provided another platform. From 15 May, we showcased online a collection of ‘small gestures’ that related to each of the artistic projects in our programme. Traces or promises, they were taken from existing material or gave insights into a creation still to be realised: moving images, musical fragments, short texts. They took the form of conversations, workshops, or video clips. Together, they formed a kind of fascinating digital archive for a festival that didn’t happen …
Today, we are happy to announce that a live and condensed version of our initial programme will take place at the end of the summer!
While the majority of the creations for the 2020 festival have been postponed until next year, we are delighted to be able to share already some of the festival’s co-productions and guest performances with you later this year. Musical, choreographic and theatrical forms will alternate on the stages. Major established names of the international scene will feature alongside up-and-coming figures. Carefully composed, this small yet impressive selection of works will receive a special resonance within the transformative context we are currently experiencing. They will in turn echo some of the questions and uncertainties raised by the global crisis we are going through.
After months of restrictions, this programme should be a celebration of the importance of the live arts, their ability to strengthen social interaction, their inherent potential to broaden our physical and mental spaces … and to envision possible futures.
Christophe Slagmuylder, June 2020
We care about your safety!
From 26 August to 26 September 2020, the Wiener Festwochen are delighted to be able to stage an abridged version of the 2020 Festival programme, thus making it possible for us to enjoy and share once again the experience of its artistic projects.
Of course, the safety of our audiences, artists and staff remains paramount, which is why, in consultation with the authorities, we are currently working on a safety concept for all the events we are planning. The concept will take account of all safety-related issues that concern your attendance at our events: distancing rules, seating, access and interval arrangements, compulsory masks, general hygiene measures, and rules of conduct before, during and after each event.