Vienna’s “largest living room” is the pitch for the 2-day Streetlife Festival in September.
In the absence of sofas, last night’s takeaway and a pile of newspapers nobody got around to clearing up, we’ll have to assume some artistic licence in that description.
Let’s call it an urban festival: a celebration of community, the city environment, the unconventional…the joy of the street.
For the event, Babenbergerstrasse (see the map below) is turned into a public thoroughfare of stalls and mini-stages, featuring a mix of organisations and artists, musicians and municipal departments, all keen to celebrate, educate and entertain in equal measure.
It’s probably the first festival for my family that had something for dad, mum and the teenagers.
The boys helped shoot a video for WWF, tried a spot of juggling, grooved (or whatever the appropriate word is) to the funky beats of the DJ, and watched various urban sports…like skateboarding and street soccer.
Their parents browsed the booths for wall clocks made from LPs, t-shirts with a message and art you would actually love to put up in the living room, but don’t have the courage: the “Urban Space Market” takes its inspiration from London markets like Camden.
There was plenty for the little ones, too, like painting, games, bubble blowing and a very creative lady who seemed able to make anything out of balloons.
The whole event is permeated by positivity, which stems from the “alternative” feel about the place, in turn reflecting Vienna and Austria’s strong sense of green values. At the end of the day, it’s fun and a nice antidote to the cynicism of modern life.
For more details, see the website.