Festival time. Think about it: a full weekend of dancing and singing your face off in front of hundreds and hundreds of people, awesome bands and DJs, sunshine—not to mention the occasional beer. Now, that’s probably not exactly what most of you would expect from Tirol. Think again: Tirol’s summer music festival scene draws fans of all tastes and, thanks to mild summer temps and acoustically friendly mountain backdrops, bands love to make the summer pilgrimage to our gorgeous open-air venues. While festival choices abound during the summer, these are the seven that I recommend you don’t miss.
1) STOABEATZ: The Lakeside Festival
Discover the unique culture and personality of Tirol’s Kaiserwinkl Region at STOABEATZ – this outstanding festival celebrates diversity, freedom and regionalism in yellow and purple. The south lakeside is the perfect festival location with a magical energy radiating from pristine Walchsee Lake, and this wonderful event is jam packed with live acts and a diverse variety of side events, ranging from morning yoga sessions over BBQ workshops to walks. Towered by the jagged peaks of Kaiser Mountain Range, STOABEATZ-Festival showcases the local area, culture and creativity. Enjoy plenty of scrumptious local food, live music, workshops and artistic talents as they bring together a variety of eclectic entertainment right to the shores of refreshing Walchsee Lake. Mark your calendars – this is an event you don’t want to miss!
2) Strafiato Festival: The Newcomer
Describing itself as being a little bit different, the Strafiato Festival is an exciting new endeavor in Innsbruck. Hosted by the StreetNoise Orchestra, the first Brass Festival invites international street bands to Tirol’s capital. Live music will liven the mood at local establishments like Treibhaus, along with concerts in downtown Innsbruck and a parade of all participating street bands. Nordkette Mountain Range, Innsbruck’s natural skyscrapers, will serve as an amazing outdoor venue, too! The concerts are open to the public and free; tickets are not required – voluntary contributions are welcome. The proceeds of the Strafiato Festival are of benefit to local charity organizations.
3) Heart of Noise: The Musical Deli
Not your ordinary festival, the Heart of Noise Festival tops off the summer season in Innsbruck with a dance-inducing display of arts and sound. Blending arts with music, the festival is a lively celebration of contemporary culture. Sound installations, live setting to music, art performances and dance moves sweep through Innsbruck during the prestigious festival. The Heart of Noise Festival is the perfect place to witness the local and vibrant DJ, music, arts and culture scene.
4) Kufstein Unlimited: Boundless Rock
A little less “hipster”, yet a whole lot rockier is Kufstein Unlimited. This acclaimed music festival heats up the town with live music that keeps the huge crowds dancing. Each year in June, the peaceful and historic small town of Kufstein embraces a boundless festival atmosphere for three days during the Kufstein unlimited Festival. With dozens of different live acts across the weekend, there will be something for everyone’s tastes. The only drawback of this popular rock and pop festival is that there is no chance for keeping the peace at night for local residents: They won’t enjoy a good night’s sleep these days. ;-)
5) Nordkette Wetterleuchten: Scenic Gondola Rides
What better way to experience the joys of Mother Nature, mountains, music and more than attending the Nordkette Wetterleuchten? Stunning surroundings and electric acts at an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level—for this mountain setting, festivalgoers need to ride the gondola up the hill. Be there and see the Nordkette Wetterleuchten audience dance the night away in one of Tirol’s most pristine natural amphitheaters. Camping is popular with festivalgoers headed to this Alpine sanctuary. The Electronic Music Festival is held annually in mid-July at Seegrube high above Tirol’s lively capital Innsbruck.
6) Hill Vibes: Music as a Source of Unity
Set in the culture-rich market town of Telfs, the Hill Vibes Festival is a celebration of sustainability with reggae music. A “Going Green Event”, Hill Vibes is a non-profit project that expertly combines international stars of the reggae world, lively entertainment, yoga and Zumba workshops, Thai massages, sports activities such as climbing and intriguing vendor booths. Serving fair international fare and treats from all over the world, you’ll want to be sure to bring your appetite. Revolving around the theme of “Together as One”, the festival acts as a source of unity instead of division, discrimination and xenophobia.
7) Outreach Festival: The Element of Surprise
What started as a tiny experimental Jazz workshop in 1993 has evolved into an internationally recognized music festival: The Outreach Festival in the silver town of Schwaz. Heart of all music-oriented activities is Jazz and it’s all about jam sessions of international musicians and producers. In short: It is full of surprises—and you never know what you’ll get. The festival is complemented by the Outreach Academy, where young and talented Jazz and rock musicians can work together with internationally renowned instrumentalists.
Hipster, rocker or diehard festivalgoer –there’s many of festivals to choose from in Tirol, from the major music festivals to the more quirky up and coming ones, do your research and check out which one will be best for you. Don’t miss out on the action! ;-)