It’s not often a major road gets to hold a music festival in its name, unless that road is the Gürtel, home to numerous bars and venues in a more culturally urban part of Vienna. Railway arches and tarmac echo to the sound of live concerts during the annual Gürtel Nightwalk.
- Free, open-air and indoor concerts along the Gürtel road
- Starts in the evening and goes on into the night
- 2020 dates: Sept 11
- See also: Other events in Vienna | Waves Vienna music festival
Urban flair along the Gürtel
A busy six-lane thoroughfare coils its way around the middle of Vienna, split in the middle by brick archways and the raised Stadtbahn railway.
Once considered a less salubrious part of town, this Gürtel still can’t be accused of over-gentrification. But it’s a metropolitan success story, as bars and venues have turned large chunks of it into a vibrant centre of urban culture and nighttime entertainment.
One night a year, close on 20 of these bars and venues across a 1km stretch on the west side of Vienna throw open their doors and spill out into the road for the Gürtel Nightwalk, a showcase of popular culture.
Several of the small venues on the Gürtel, such as B72 and Chelsea, are woven into the fabric of the local music scene. And the beating heart of the Nightwalk festival is, inevitably, music. Dozens of DJs and live acts perform on both open-air and indoor stages.
So in 2019 at the 22nd Gürtel Nightwalk, for example, B72 had rock’n’roll band, Yokohomo, and garage rock band, Siamese Elephants, on their open-air stage, with DJ Der Karl entertaining indoors. Chelsea had indie band, Strandhase, and the genre-busting “orchestra of two”, Scarabeusdream, outside, with Likely Lady and Erv spinning the turntables inside.
The numerous Gürtel Nightwalk concerts shift between genres….ska, samba, pop, punk, rock, reggae, singer-songwriters, and more. And just to make the night easier on the pocket, they’re all free. See the Facebook page for details when available.
2020 dates and tickets
The Gürtel Nightwalk normally falls on the last Saturday in August. But 2020 is not a normal year. Hence the unusual date of September 11th. Since admission is free, no ticket is required.
How to get to the Gürtel
The right part of the Gürtel is marked on the map below, with events going on at venues across that zone.
Subway: Josefstädter Straße station sits in the middle of the Gürtel Nightwalk area, and the ends are marked by two other stations: Alser Straße and Thaliastraße. All are on the U6 line (the “Stadtbahn” that follows the course of the Gürtel for much of its route).
Incidentally, the first two stations mentioned still have the original buildings designed by Otto Wagner.
Tram: if you’re coming from the centre, just jump on a tram to the Gürtel with your public transport ticket. Take the 43 from Schottentor to Alser Straße, the 44 from Schottentor to Hernalser Gürtel, the 2 from along the Ring to Josefstädter Straße, or the 46 from Ring/Volkstheater to Thaliastraße.
Address: On the Gürtel between Alser Straße and Thaliastraße (in the 16th and 17th districts)