The Salzburg Festival’s directorate – President Helga Rabl-Stadler, Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser and Executive Director Lukas Crepaz – comments on initial announcements by Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and Federal Minister Rudolf Anschober, according to which regulations for cultural events are to be gradually loosened in significant ways from June onwards. According to their statements, in August events with up to 1,000 audience members may be possible if the presenter in question presents an adequate security concept.
The Salzburg Festival is pleased that after long weeks without live events, artists can once again invite their audiences to experience art together.
What exactly will become possible can only be explored after the ordinance has been published. After all, the old saying that “the devil is in the detail” applies particularly to the current situation. In particular, clarification is needed on the conditions under which stage rehearsals and performances by orchestras and choruses will be permissible.
The only thing that is certain is that the new health regulations mean that the Festival cannot take place as planned before the outbreak of the pandemic, both in terms of programming and duration. Therefore, the Festival will present an alternative for this extremely challenging year to the Supervisory Board on 25 May 2020. A modified Festival seems possible.
The Festival aims to publish the newly arranged programme for the summer in early June. Details on the further procedure for tickets previously purchased will be communicated to all our customers shortly and will also be published on our website.
This demonstrates that the directorate was justified to pursue a strategy of not cancelling the Festival too early, but waiting and observing the development of the pandemic, setting 30 May as the goal for decision-making.
The Festival is optimistic that despite the coronavirus, it will be able to send a strong signal for the power of the arts, especially in difficult times.