Donauinselfest

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The Donauinselfest (German for Danube Island Festival) is an open-air free music festival taking place annually at Donauinsel in Vienna, Austria. It usually takes place in mid or end of June. Only in 2008, the event was scheduled in September in order to prevent clashing with the European Football Championship, which was co-hosted by Austria.

The event[edit]

Logo

According to numerous media reports (including Wikinews) the Donauinselfest is Europe's biggest open air event; soon expected to reach the 3 million visitors mark. Some 1500 volunteer assistants and visible police presence help make the Donauinselfest one of the most secure big events.

There are some 21 areas (called "islands" as well) that are normally sponsored by radio stations, newspapers and other companies. These are spread out over a 6.5 kilometer area of the total of 21 kilometer island. Musicians of an extremely broad range of genres perform.

The layout is roughly the same every year, with some stages being removed or added. The musicians also tend to come back every year, or being replaced by other ones that are popular.

To ensure safety of visitors, "house rules" were introduced in 2007 and checkpoint controls established to help control certain items (such as glass and liquor inside the festival perimeter.[1]

Food kiosks serve various national and alternative dishes including Thai, Greek, Italian, Indian, Turkish, Vegetarian and Austrian cuisine. Although all concerts are free, financial experts calculate Vienna's economy benefits from this event by almost € 40 million, due to the increased tourism.[2]

History[edit]

In 1983, SPÖ politician Harry Kopietz, promoted the organisation of a one day party near the Floridsdorferbrücke, in order to promote the attractiveness of the Donauinsel as a recreational area. Organizers expected some 15,000 people, but 160,000 showed up. The event became annual the following year (300,000 visitors)[3] and meanwhile always attracts more than two million people during three days of actitivites (2.9 million in 2006, "only" 2.6 in 2007, as, due to a heavy thunderstorm, a few concerts had to be cancelled on opening day).[4]

Years[edit]

1993
A most memorable[citation needed] concert was Falco's in 1993, in front of roughly 100,000 fans: The weather was so bad on that evening that part of the stage was flooded, the subsequent power cut aborting the performance.

2003
Headline internationally recognised performers this year included Bonnie Tyler, Shaggy and Melanie Chisholm.

2006
2006 performers included Bloodhound Gang, Juli, Silbermond, Christina Stürmer, Fettes Brot, and Tocotronic

2007
The 2007 Donauinselfest was partly successful

2007 performers included Master Blaster, Gianna Nannini, Zucchero, Willi Resetarits, Hubert von Goisern, and Rainhard Fendrich whose concert attracted an audience of 200,000 people. Due to thunderstorm warning, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra concert had to be canceled.[5]

2008
In 2008, the festival was attended by Extremschrammeln, Gigi d'Agostino, Basshunter and Gabry Ponte. On same stage, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra performed one of its open air concerts on Monday evening.

2009
The 2009 Donauinselfest was on the verge of being canceled due to flooding. It had rained consistently for the last few days, making it necessary to open flood protection, which leveled out the water level on the sides of the Donauinsel, but being enough to flood the side paths, that would have provided an important escape route should it be necessary. Luckily, the water level sank and the roads were cleared in time, saving the event.


References and other external links[edit]

  1. ^ Rules of the house as of 2007
  2. ^ boerse-express.com 2007-06-18 (German)
  3. ^ From official website (German version)
  4. ^ From official website (German version)
  5. ^ Der Standard on 2007-06-25, in German