This year, Pflasterspektakel Linz will be celebrated from July 19 to 21. This festival — which translates to ‘pavement spectacle’ in German — draws together dancers, mimes, musicians, high-wire walkers, clowns, fire twirlers, acrobats, and other performers that defy categorization and occasionally gravity for three days each July. Pflasterspektakel converts three days in summer into a type of citywide ‘Cirque du Soleil.’Hauptplatz — a vast and beautiful city plaza dominated by the 60-foot-tall Trinity Column — is the core of it all — which, incidentally, honors the victims of the Black Plague. More than 200,000 people braved the inclement weather in Linz to see what these colorfully costumed artists have to offer.
History of Pflasterspektakel Linz
Siegbert Janko — Linz’s cultural manager since 1985 — was the driving force for the Pflasterspektakel. He attributes the inspiration to his memories of a market in Marrakesh called “Djemaa el Fna,” which he saw during Moroccan King Hassan II’s birthday festivities back in 1985. Internationale Straßenmusikantentage (International Days of Street Musicians) was the name of the first festival, which took place from July 16 to 19, 1987. A samba ensemble from Munich was among the 150 performers — most of whom were from Austria and Germany.
Linz Pflasterspektakel was resurrected the following year, this time under the current name and incorporating acrobats, magicians, and mimes in addition to musicians. In Linz in 1989 — just before the Berlin Wall came down — Eastern Bloc performers performed. Because of the overwhelming number of submissions, organizers were forced to narrow the field of artists from that year. At the Pflasterspektakel in 2000 and several subsequent years, more than 250,000 people came to witness artists worldwide.
The Pflasterspektakel starts with an opening ceremony on a Thursday at 4 p.m. — the festival itself begins at 2 p.m. on the Friday and Saturday after that. The bar closes at midnight every day; however, some artists continue to perform in pubs until 1 a.m. A finale improvised by spontaneously formed groups of artists is staged in the main square on Saturday evening, as is customary. Performers will take to the stage in more than 40 places across Linz, including the Landstraße and the city’s central plaza. Musicians who want to perform a cappella or are unplugged in one of two courtyards are welcome. During poor weather, the event is moved inside, such as the ancient city hall and other venues.
Pflasterspektakel Linz timeline
The first festival, Internationale Straßenmusikantentage (International Days of Street Musicians), takes place and includes a samba group from Munich.
Artists from Eastern Bloc countries perform in the event — just before the Berlin Wall falls.
Over 250,000 guests visit the Pflasterspektakel to witness artists from Europe, Australia, America, Africa, and Asia.
Around 400 artists from more than 40countries take part in the event.
Pflasterspektakel Linz FAQs
Is Linz a nice city?
It is one of Austria’s most gorgeous cities, Linz has a beautiful riverfront position.
Is Linz worth visiting?
As Austria’s third-biggest city, it is a fantastic tourist destination with many intriguing sites and activities.
What is it like to live in Linz?
Linz’s life is intriguing because futuristic buildings coexists with historic cathedrals and wide green areas.
Pflasterspektakel Linz Activities
Attend the festival
Attend the festival to see over 100 artist groups from more than 40 nations converge on the lovely city of Linz. This weekend of outstanding street theatre is bound to astound you.
Donate to the artists
The artists are simply compensated for their travel expenses, lodging, and a daily allowance of 25 euros. Their primary source of revenue is contributions from guests, so please consider donating to support them.
Perform at the event
If you are an artist with a fantastic gift consider performing. You can celebrate this festival by attending the event and participating in the performance.
5 Facts About Pflasterspektakel Linz Festival
Its sponsored by the municipality
The municipality, “LINZ AG,” local newspapers, and a bank are all event sponsors.
The event is free for guests
Spectators of all ages may anticipate an engaging program with free entrance at several sites in Linz's city center.
The show continues even in bad weather
If rain threatens to flood the sidewalks and streets, artists relocate to other indoor venues, such as the Old City Hall Linz and the Taubenmarkt Arkade, where the acts must continue.
Artists audition before the event
The energetic artists — who come from all over the globe — must audition well before the event; the competition is fierce, with hundreds seeking official seats.
Performances are held overnight
During the nightline segment of the event, artists perform in city taverns surrounding the Hauptplatz, rocking out till the early hours of the morning.
Why We Love Pflasterspektakel Linz
It promotes culture
In 2009, Linz was named the European Cultural Capital, which significantly boosted the city's cultural sector. The cultural sector is a major contributor to the visitor economy.
It is a year-round tourist attraction
As part of the celebrations, take the Pöstlingbergbahn — the world's steepest mountain track train — to Pöstlingberg hill. From this vantage point, you can enjoy Rosegarden's varied cultural activities in the summer.
Biking in the Danube
Located exactly on the Danube River, Linz is a gateway between Germany and the Black Sea and a gateway to many other European nations. You may explore the river in various ways, including by boat or bike.
Pflasterspektakel Linz dates