The Donauinselfest (German for Danube Island Festival) is a free open-air music festival taking place annually at Donauinsel in Vienna, Austria and it's hosted by SPÖ Wien. With over 3 million visitors in 3 days, it's the biggest open-air music festival in the world .
Performances take place on the festival area at a length of 4.5 km on 11 different open-air stages and in 16 tented areas around the island. Local bands and DJs as well as many world-famous artists have performed since 1984.
According to numerous media reports (including Wikinews) the Donauinselfest is Europe's biggest open-air festival; with over 3 million visitors. Around 1500 volunteer assistants and visible police presence help make the Donauinselfest one of the most secure events in Europe.
There are areas (called "islands" as well) which are usually sponsored by radio stations, newspapers and other companies. These are spread out over a 4.5 kilometer area. 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).
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.
Traffic connection (how to get there):
- OEBB Travel Portal (trains)
- Wiener Linien (public transport in Vienna)
Rock The Island Contest
The winners of the RTIC (Rock the Island Contest), which is focussing on the support of talented Austrian newcomers, performed in the living room of their fans. This way, Austrians talents prepare themselves for their gig, and their fans experience a private live concert in their own room.
Island Beer "Inselbier"
At the 34th Danube Island Festival, a special main focus will be set on the development of gastronomic offers. Especially lovers of beer will get their money´s worth. Beside the beloved „Inselbier“, that is created together with Brauwerk, it will be the first time, that the host will be pleased about two special gardens on the Islands.
In 1983 Harry Kopietz, SPÖ politician, invented 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) 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).
A most memorable concert was Falco's in 1993, in front of almost 100,000 fans: The weather was so bad on that evening that part of the stage was flooded, the following power cut aborting the performance.
Headline Band was the "SCORPIONS"
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.
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.
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.
In 2013 the SPÖ Wien celebrated the 30th edition of the Donauinselfest. 600 hours of music, dancing and fun. More than 2.000 performers on three days. Highlights were Rae Garvey, Amy Macdonald, Christina Stürmer, Wolfgang Ambros, Zucchero, Reinhard Fendrich and more.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Donauinselfest 2009.|
- Official site. A PDF orientation map can be downloaded from there.
- Official site: photographs
- Videos from the Danube Island Festival in Vienna