Welcome to the first ever time I have put two events together but the concept and story will make it clear why…
What was the event (s)?
One concert as part of the Vienna Festival called Wiener Festwochen and the other was the live screening of Opera from the Vienna Operahouse which was Vienna Festival was 10th May until the middle of June, with Opera outside on the screening occurring every night in April, May, June and September.
What happened at the event (s)?
Vienna is a destination that in tourism is through the roof. They introduced the Tourism Concept in 2009, which brought more attention to delivering tourism experiences and in 2013 recorded 12.7 million one night stays. The point of this is the growth of experiences and events that are delivered for those visitors to consume and enjoy.
The cities strategy highlights for them to have prestige events such as Eurovision Song Contest and other events that can show Vienna to a global or European audiences. However, two things that Vienna have an abundance of and operate to add value to the tourist journey of 120 theatres or music performance areas. Vienna is also one of the top three destinations, due to location and facilities in terms of international conventions. Vienna have an Vienna Event Board who also monitor and grow relationships for events coming to Vienna. Now, why have I introduced a lot about the city. Well – here’s why. Vienna, in my opinion, attracts a certain type of person to the musical performances that are staged. These include Opera, Ballet and so on. It felt slightly behind with realizing this and focusing on the Vienna 2020 vision, which actually is not the way that tourism strategies should and are delivered.
The first event to focus on was one performance from the Vienna Festival. The festival is based around historical work that is international but “anchored in the city”. Its about Vienna – basically. Its about locking down performances to enjoy and celebrate Vienna. Visioning this the festival want to try to embrace complexity through the famous artists and differing art disciplines. The festival is constructed with different elements including lectures, guest speaking slots, workshops, performances and other elements that makes this festival extremely diverse. Unfortunately due to my time constraint I could only one event, which was a recital of Beethoven, Mozart with 5 musicians. I will briefly discuss the audience of the event. I brought the average age down by 30 years and I was probably in about 120 people who was from outside Vienna. The festival does have an edgy side and I really cannot at all judge the basis of the whole festival on this one event. Vienna unfortunately does have a certain demographic who can afford to go to performances and are fans of the genre. However, this can be moved and the large screen is one of them.
For four months a year the screen produces live showing of what is happening inside the opera house. This is produced by the Director of Photography and uses five cameras and two sound systems outside to give the best experience for all watching. When I was there and passing by it was people who could not afford who were soaking up and clapping when it was appropriate. Some were being absolutely drenched because they were determined they were watching the performance. Some were standing and some were just there to capture a quick photo and run. Whoever and however these people were motivated is something that is interested in itself but it was great to watch, capture and enjoy. However, there is a lot to ask regarding why people cannot afford to go to the opera. Why do we not introduce audiences to the opera and lower all prices and not cause such obvious elitism. Now, there is standing tickets occasionally available. These tickets are still not breaking the barriers of class division and not opening the event to everyone. It needs to. Simple.
This goes back to the Festival – many of the shows are free. They have discount tickets. They allow and create opportunities for people to get tickets that may not have if they didn’t have discounts.
One thing to take away from the event…
What makes the arts is everyone being involved. Financially at times the industry push out those that may love and enjoy the performance – and bring a new element to the genre.