Before reading, be sure you have half a pack of cigarettes and a full tank of petrol. And put on sunglasses, even though it’s dark outside. Because here’s a music festival to warm Jake and Elwood’s hearts: the Vienna Blues Spring.
- Almost daily performances throughout this fine blues festival
- Most gigs are at the cult Der Reigen venue
- Both regional and international musicians perform
- 2021 dates: started on March 20th with an open end
- 2021 festival different to normal because of COVID
- See also: Vienna Jazz Festival | April in Vienna
You can imagine the likes of Beethoven and Mozart appreciating the blues, given the troubles they encountered in their own lives. And Vienna is not short of a few clubs and bars where the Mojo Blues Band and genre colleagues ply their trade.
The Vienna Blues Spring festival brings together local performers and overseas guests in a feast of blues riffs and whisky-honed voices. Near-daily performances take place at the Der Reigen venue, with special gigs at other locations, such as the Haus der Musik or the Mozarthaus.
Der Reigen is a bar, restaurant and venue with a long musical past that dates back to the 1950s jazz scene. And you can’t help but like the idea of listening to, for example, “Blues & Boogie unplugged” in the Mozarthaus, where Vienna’s most famous musician once composed The Marriage of Figaro.
This is not a huge festival, but an opportunity to enjoy the local blues scene in its most intense form, with a generous sprinkling of international musicians to round out the experience.
Though I still put on my
2021 dates and tickets
The event normally runs from late March through April. The 2020 event rescheduled to various dates in September, October, and November following all the COVID shenanigans. So we’ll see what happens (and what’s possible) in 2021.
At the time of writing, the (entirely virtual) opening was on March 20th with the remaining schedule open ended. Keep an eye on that official website for details. For example, in-person concerts have slowly begun to appear for summer dates.
For physical gigs, you reserve and/or purchase tickets through the festival homepage, from the venues, or from ticket agencies (depending on the individual event and location). Again, the website will have all the details.
Tickets for individual concerts usually cost from €18 to €35, with most falling at the lower end of that range. Der Reigen also typically offers a festival pass giving entry to all concerts at that location.
How to get to Der Reigen
The main venue is in Vienna’s 14th district, away from the centre, but close to the tourist hotspot that is Schönbrunn Palace.
Find Der Reigen immediately opposite the Hietzing station, which is a stop on the U4 subway line you can catch from the Karlsplatz and Schwedenplatz stations in the centre of town. Hietzing’s also a stop on the 10 and 60 tram lines, and the 51A, 56A, 56B and 58A bus lines.