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Photo: David Bohmann

03.08.2021

Final Spurt!

Grab a deck chair and take a look at everything that the Kultursommer Wien and Rathausplatz Film Festival have to offer. Both festivals are perfect opportunities for spending the final few warm summer evenings relaxing in the open air and hanging out with friends.

And here’s something that you definitely shouldn’t miss: the musical highlights of both festivals, which bring culture into the city in summer, free of charge.

Stefan Mathoi,
Photo: Filip Malinowski

“I find it really tough to make recommendations,” says Stefan Mathoi, who heads the Rathausplatz Film Festival: “It’s simply all super. There’s a highlight every day.” The festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, started life as the Mozart Opera Film Festival in 1991. Back then, it attracted 200,000 visitors to the Rathausplatz. In 2019, there were 950,000. This is hardly a surprise, given the relaxed and easy-going atmosphere and the wide range of culinary options, with burgers, curry, pitas and cCalamari offering the Viennese a mini gourmet world tour in their own backyard. And the programme also has something for everyone.

Partner-swapping as a highly-concentrated operatic miracle

The Rathausplatz Film Festival is a Viennese institution. It was already flourishing when the cultural offering in Vienna in summer was much smaller. But what are the criteria behind its programming? “We always try to be topical. We react to anniversaries and birthdays, to new work from the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera,” explains Mathoi. And while it was originally a festival for classical music, the radius has since been expanded. “We show pop, jazz and world music, and this mix has received great feedback,” says Mathoi.

The opera productions by the German director Christof Loy are always as exciting as psychological thrillers. He discovers contemporary issues in old operas. And depicts the figures as if they were characters from today. His take on Mozart’s partner-swapping opera “Cosi fan tutte” was a highlight of last year’s Salzburg Festival. “A small and highly-concentrated operatic miracle” reported an enthusiastic “Frankfurter Rundschau”. This year, the recording can be enjoyed on the Rathausplatz (18th August). And those who were hung over or too tired on 1st January can catch up on the New Year’s Concert on 10th August.

Cosi fan tutte Photo: Monika Rittershaus

Neujahrskonzert 2021 Photo: ORF Roman Zach-Kiesling

Hips Don’t Lie! – Further concert highlights

A further highlight is the legendary Avicii Tribute Concert from 2019, at which the Swedish DJ and music producer’s best-known tracks could be heard. So it’ll be hard not to dance along on 14th August – to cool interpretations by artists from Rita Ora to Kygo, who contributed an unpublished collaboration with Avicii. In contrast, those who are turned on by Columbian rhythms are in the right place with Shakira, whose hips – as we hear in one of her well-known songs – don’t lie. Shakira’s Oral Fixation Tour set stadia alight and a recording can be seen on 26th August.

Female pop power

But there’s also loads of cool music to be discovered during the final spurt of the Kultursommer Wien. And it’s live! Perhaps you know Teresa Rotschopf, because she was the singer in the band Bunny Lake. She’s already worked together with the legendary Austrian producer Patrick Pulsinger and develops her dark, electronic sound with remarkable rigour. For several years, she’s been realising solo projects that wander between trip hop beats, pop appropriations and steel guitars. Not only can Rotschopf be relied upon to provide a musical surprise or two, but she’s also a great live performer. She can be seen in the Kongresspark in the 16th District on 5th August at 20:00.

Teresa Rotschopf Photo: Christoph Pirnbacher

Queer highfliers

The queer band Pop:sch produces catchy songs that reveal a deep love of trash, 80’s synth pop and 90’s Eurotrash. If Peaches and Kim Wilde had a child, the result would be Pop:sch, is how the quirky formation describe themselves. The music project was invented during the course of a long night by people who wanted to not only have fun, but also transport a clear message: We’re here and we’re queer. Celebrate with us! There’s an opportunity to do just that at 20:00 on 5th August next to the Schulschiff at Floridsdorfer Brücke.

And yet another discovery: On 14th and 15th

August, Stina Fors from Sweden will be performing. She describes herself as a solo punk band. She’ll be making excessive use of her drum. But her voice is also something else!