Some events just seem to carry an atmosphere of joy about them. This two-day street festival is a perfect example. Leave your cynicism at the door and enter the Südwind Straßenfest.
- Celebration of the vital work of NGOs
- International flavour with live music, food, guilt-free shopping opportunities, and info stands
- 2021 dates: TBA
- See also: Events in Vienna
The Südwind festival
Given the world’s politicians seem intent on taking us all down in a blaze of greed and climate change denials, it does the heart good to see the wonderful work done by voluntary organisations.
Step forward the Südwind Straßenfest, an annual event first held in 1984. Dozens of NGOs come together in Vienna to showcase their efforts and give everyone a good time while doing so.
There’s music, of the traditional, alternative, street and world kind, with regular on-stage performances.
There’s food and drink, with stalls selling ethnic, ethical and organic fare from around the world.
There’s shopping, with stands offering the kind of fair-trade goods that don’t leave you worrying if the workers or the planet got a decent deal out of the exchange.
There are workshops, allowing you to hone skills more traditional in Brazil or India than in downtown Vienna.
There’s information, with dozens of NGOs presenting their work in various fields of endeavour for you to learn about (and, perhaps, support).
And there’s a good vibe; a dose of international friendship, a pinch of solidarity, a smile or two of generosity of spirit, and a big wave in the direction of sustainability.
The organisers – Südwind – are themselves an NGO working for sustainable development, human rights, and fair conditions for workers.
2021 dates and tickets
There’s no entry fee – just go in and enjoy the atmosphere. I don’t have a fixed date, yet, but expect the 2021 Südwind Straßenfest to take place on a weekend in June (based on previous years).
How to get to the Straßenfest
The street festival usually takes place in the main courtyard of the old general hospital, now part of the University of Vienna and the location of a popular Christmas market and a handful of bars/restaurants.
Tram/bus: There’s a tram stop outside (Lange Gasse), reached on the 5, 33, 43, and 44 lines. The 43 and 44 leave from Schottentor, a central station on the U2 subway line.
Address: Campus der Universität Wien (Hof 1), Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna | Website