Switch off the streaming service, blow the dust off your LPs, and fire up the turntable. Time to dive into music that comes with “authentic” written in large neon letters on the album cover. It’s the Ottakringer Vinyl & Music festival at Vienna’s main brewery.
- Music fair and festival with dozens of exhibitors
- View and buy instruments, sound systems, (lots of ) vinyl LPs, artwork, and more
- Also has live acts
- 2024 dates: TBA (was March 4th and 5th in 2023)
- See also:
What’s it all about?
(Inside the festival. Photo courtesy of Vinyl & Music; photo by Esther Crapélle Photography)
Think of the festival as everything music, but without the veneer of corporate marketing.
Like a musical artiste that refuses to be pigeonholded into a single genre, Vinyl & Music defies classification. It’s an exhibition and trade fair. A live gig and art gallery. A meeting point and dinner date.
It all takes place in Ottakringer Brauerei, which is Vienna’s big family-owned independent brewery in the 16th district, home to traditional and craft beers as well as various cultural events.
The numerous exhibitors offer the full gamut of music products, from its creation through to consumption.
Instrument makers and indie labels jostle for space with those offering sound systems. And there are more vinyl LPs, cover art and concert posters than you can shake a Fender at. Live acts, radio DJs, and several food trucks (not to mention brewery bars) round out the entertainment.
We’re regulars and never fail to enjoy ourselves.
There’s the venue for starters.
The old brewery buildings look like they stepped right out of a movie set for a New York-based mafia thriller, with the hollowed-out industrial premises and a labyrinth of rooms hiding one musical delight after another.
The selection on show varies from year to year. Back in 2020, for example, jukeboxes, pinball machines and arcade games had us cooing like grandparents at a wedding. Music is everywhere, featuring everything from Bowie to Bartók…
- Stacks upon stacks of LPs, with aficionados earnestly searching through the specialist collections in search of some elusive vinyl
- Gorgeous custom instruments (so tempted)
- Music-flavoured art
- Interesting memorabilia (from Beatles monopoly to rare signed photos)
- …and more
(The 2023 poster reveal with the brewery’s co-owner and chairperson of the supervisory board (left – Christiane Wenckheim), their CEO (right – Tobias Frank) and Vinyl & Music’s organiser (Till Philippi); photo courtesy of Vinyl & Music)
After browsing the market or enjoying the live music, the festival has space to relax with a bite to eat and something to drink.
A food truck once sold the best fruit dipped in chocolate we’ve ever had (and we’ve had a *lot* of fruit dipped in chocolate). Last time out (2023), the organic Belgian-style chips took home our gold seal of approval.
2024 dates, tickets, tips
The Ottakringer Vinyl & Music festival traditionally takes place in March. I await specific dates for 2024. A weekend festival pass in 2023 cost €20, while day tickets cost from €10.
Festival hours at the last edition were:
- Saturday: 10am to around 10pm (live acts in the evening)
- Sunday: 10am to 6pm
How to get to the festival
The 16th district is working class heartland outside of the old town. But like most places in Vienna, it’s all easy to reach on public transport.
Incidentally, two gastronomic tips if you find yourself in the area:
- The Tasty Asia restaurant opposite the brewery serves excellent food (we regularly order takeout there)
- The Café Ritter Ottakring (walk past the brewery away from the centre up Ottakringer Straße) is a gorgeous Jugendstil traditional coffee house , but check if it’s open before going
Subway: the U3 travels out from the centre (e.g. Stephansplatz and Volkstheater stations) and ends at Ottakring station. Walk down from there to the brewery or take the 44 tram
Tram/bus: the Johann-Nepomuk-Berger-Platz stop is opposite the brewery. Take the 2, 44 or 9 trams to get there. Both the 2 (e.g. Karlsplatz/Oper or Burgring) and 44 (Schottentor) leave from the centre of town
Address: Ottakringer Brauerei, Ottakringer Platz 1, 1160 Vienna | Website