Gloomy news of rising COVID-19 cases, quarantine, mandatory mask wearing, and cancelled events have dominated the news since March 2020. The persistently pessimistic news has blunted people into an unfounded acceptance that all events must have been cancelled. However, behind this veil of negativity, some optimistic persistence has resulted in an array of live events that have found a way to take place.
Following are some of the events that have used creative concept changes and adjustments to provide the Viennese public with a much-needed relief from bleak inactivity and online inaction.
Instead of the usual free open-air Donauinsel extravaganza, a branded tour bus currently cruises through Vienna for 80 days until 20 September bringing 100 acts and 240 pop-up concerts to the city streets.
dotdotdot Open Air Kurzfilmfestival
Film buffs will not be disappointed with 24 evenings and 120 short films for 8 weeks until the end of August.
This social cultural highlight has also not been cancelled. Many adjustments to the usual open layout have been made in order to entertain the public in the heart of Vienna.
This free open-air cinema on the bustling Museumsplatz is celebrating its 13th edition during corona times.
Free entry to an array of live entertainment acts and events has also been guaranteed by Kultursommer Wien at 25 locations.
Liquid Market Cocktail Festival
The guys behind this festival have been very adamant in ensuring that cocktails keep on being poured this year. After a number of cancellations and changes, the festival will take place over two days in August.
Because the usual yearly Braukultur-Wochen were majorly affected by the corona crisis, Vienna’s favorite beer brand organized a free beer event in July and August.
Theater im Park
The theater scene is also well represented this summer with many open-air events in the private Schwarzenberg garden.
Vienna Rum Festival
The largest rum festival in the heart of Europe is also working hard to ensure it can celebrate its 5th anniversary in the Ottakringer Brewery this late summer.
Wiener Kabarett Festival
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year in the Arkadenhof, this cabaret festival is keen to provide a fun and engaging program in a safe environment.
This cultural festival is bringing much needed entertainment in varied shapes and forms to the Viennese districts. Some adjustments have been made to ensure a safe environment, but no plugs have been pulled.
The above are only a number of events that are still taking place. In the current challenging times, where so many events have been cancelled and very few below-the-line brand promotions continue, there is an unusual opportunity to stand out. Brands that have frozen below-the-line budgets and pumped their entire marketing budgets into online and point-of-sale advertisement, are competing with the rest of the world for exposure to an increasingly harder to reach and digitally overwhelmed audience. However, the brands that recognize the present offline opportunity to connect with an eager public that is currently underwhelmed with “live” brand exposure will be able to solidify lasting brand connections.
Authors: Aisha N. van der Staal and Gregor Wepper