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.
- Indoor & open-air concerts along the Gürtel road
- Typically free entry
- Starts in the evening and goes on into the night
- 2024 date: TBA (usually last Saturday in August)
- See also:
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, various bars and venues across a 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. DJs and live acts typically perform on open-air and indoor stages.
The numerous concerts shift between genres….ska, samba, pop, punk, rock, reggae, singer-songwriters, and more: see the website for programme details.
(As it was the 25th anniversary, the 2023 event also included an exhibition on its history and a design/art market.)
2024 dates, tickets & tips
The Gürtel Nightwalk usually falls on the last Saturday in August, but I await confirmation for the 2024 event.
Just to make the night easier on the pocket, the various events are usually free to attend.
How to get to the Gürtel
The relevant parts of the Gürtel are marked on the map below, with events typically going on at venues across that zone.
Subway: most locations cluster around the Josefstädter Straße station, which effectively marks the middle of the Gürtel Nightwalk area; two other stations (Alser Straße and Thaliastraße) mark the ends. 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 iconic architect 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 various stops along the Ring to Josefstädter Straße, or the 46 from Ring/Volkstheater to Thaliastraße.
Address: Lerchenfelder Gürtel und Hernalser Gürtel between Alser Straße and Thaliastraße in the 16th and 17th districts