Viennese street life is not only sipping quietly at a cappuccino outside some timeless coffeehouse. There’s a more urban, alternative side to it, too…a fact highlighted by the annual Streetlife Festival in September.
- A weekend celebrating urban street culture
- Live music and entertainment, info booths, market stalls, and more
- Good for all the family
- 2020 dates: TBA (was Sept 14-15 in 2019)
- See also: The Buskers Festival | Südwind festival | Street art festival
Life, art, music
Vienna’s “largest living room” is one pitch for the annual 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) turns 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 our family that had something for dad, mum and the teenagers.
When we visited, our 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 probably don’t have the courage: the stalls seem to take their 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.
Oh, and a large street food market should ensure you don’t go hungry.
2020 dates and tickets
It’s all free to walk around, so no need for a ticket. The festival usually takes place in September. As soon as I get concrete dates, I’ll put them up here.
How to get to the Streetlife festival
A subway station sits at one end of the festival area and a tram stop at the other, so it’s easy to reach (not to mention very central anyway).
Subway: Take the U2 to Museumsquartier
Tram/bus: Take the 1, 2, D or 71 tram lines to Burgring
…and if you enjoy a bit of alternative culture, pop into the MuseumsQuartier just up the road from the Streetlife festival. Lots of modern art to admire in there.
Address: Babenbergerstraße / Mariahilfer Straße, 1010 / 1070 Vienna | Website