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Austria prepares for July reopening

Promoters and festival organisers in Austria are preparing to relaunch activities after the government made a surprise announcement that full capacity events will be allowed to resume in July.

On Friday, 28 May, the Austrian government brought forward its date for mass gatherings to restart, when it told its citizens that from 1 July onwards, all events will be possible at full capacity, including standing events, both indoor and outdoor.

Social distancing and masks will not be required, but event attendees will still need to meet one of three rules to gain admission: they must be vaccinated; they must be able to provide a negative Covid test; or they must be able to prove that they have recovered from a Covid infection.

The bold move is testament to Austria’s successful Covid vaccination drive, which has so far seen more that five million vaccines administered (to a population of nine million people), which in turn has helped the number of Covid infections drop significantly in recent weeks.

The news has been welcomed by live music professionals around the country, with many now resurrecting summer plans.

FM4 Frequency festival can take place now,” says Barracuda Music promoter Thomas Zsifkovits, who has the sold-out event scheduled for 19-21 August, with a line up that includes a hefty international presence such as Marshmello, Die Antwoord, Mabel, Sum 41, Martin Garrix, Chase & Status and many more.

“The government here has said that everybody can be vaccinated by the end of July”

Zsifkovits tells IQ that the surprise government decision has seen Barracuda staff back in the office together for the first time in months, where the excitement is perceptible as they discuss what might and might not be possible for the remainder of 2021.

And highlighting just what a game-changer the government’s announcement means for the Austrian live music community, he reveals, “Szene Open Air just called me to say that will organise their event, which they cancelled a month ago.”

The exciting news also means that shows in the autumn are now a real possibility for fans in Austria. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but touring will depend on other countries following Austria’s example,” continues Zsifkovits.

“The government here has said that everybody can be vaccinated by the end of July, bet we know that’s not the same in other countries. In fact, I am having conversations with agents about their acts, as we know that some of those will not be able to comply with the Austrian rules.”

However, with around 50,000 fans per day waiting to flood in through the Frequency gates, Zsifkovits is looking forward to a massive relaunch of business, while he and his peers throughout Austria also look toward the autumn schedule of shows, as well as confirming dates for 2022.


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