Salzburg Festival to go ahead in August, with limited audience

salzburg austria

The coronavirus pandemic may have affected plenty of events and festivities this year, but the Salzburg Festival announced on Tuesday that it would go ahead with it in August.

The festival, showcasing the finest classical music and opera production, will be a shorter event than usual. The plan was to have an expansive celebration of its centennial, with more than 200 performances over 44 days. Now it has been curtailed to 90 performances over 30 days. Seven opera productions have been reduced to two.

“The world usually looks to us for artistic reasons,” Helga Rabl-Stadler, the festival’s president, said. “This time, we also have to prove that we are the best at dealing with this health situation.”

For several months, Salzburg resisted cancellation, even as other summer events threw in the towel. And with the spread of the virus seemingly under control in Austria, the federal government last month laid out a plan that, starting in August, would allow for an audience of up to 1,000.

Rabl-Stadler estimated a loss of at least 15 million euros (about $17 million) in ticket revenue, due to the reduced size of the audience this time.