Festivals, stages & customs in Upper Austria

Carmen* dances... brass music in the Innviertel region, to guitar riffs at Clam Castle or to the electro beats of Parov Stelar. Today she’s heading to the Brucknerhaus in Linz, tomorrow to a jazz festival, and on Sunday she’s wearing her traditional Goldhaube headdress.


*Carmen, the tragic main character of Georges Bizet’s opera of the same name. Perhaps her musical talent would have found a better home on the stages of Upper Austria.


Upper Austrian cultural summer

During the festival season, all of Upper Austria becomes a stage. From the lakes of the Salzkammergut region to serene castle courtyards and historical arcades — Upper Austria’s most beautiful places become part of the productions of the Upper Austrian cultural summer.

There are no limits to the cultural delights of summer: operettas on a warm summer evening under the open sky, local dialect renditions of the classic “Jedermann”, concerts in churches and castles and captivating jazz or brass music.

And because a warm summer evening doesn’t have to end after the final curtain, it’s best finished off with some excellent local cuisine and fine wine.

That’s our custom

Preserving customs is deeply ingrained in the cultural life of Upper Austrians. Throughout the year, there are many occasions to breathe life into old traditions.

The annual cycle of customs begins on 5 January with a highlight — the Glöckler Runs in the Salzkammergut region. The carnival season has its stronghold in Ebensee on Lake Traun, where ‘Fetzen (masked revellers) take over the town. Lake Traun has also given rise to one of the most beautiful customs of the fasting season — the “Liebstattsonntag”.

The Corpus Christi procession on Lake Hallstatt, midsummer fires or “Liachtbratlmontag” in Bad Ischl in autumn — every season offers an opportunity for communal celebrations. But it’s the Advent season, with its Christkindl markets, Advent singing and contemplative moments that stand out.