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 (where else?) Vienna’s 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, DJs, a pinball arcade, and a gig poster exhibition
- 2022 dates: March 4-6
- See also: Events in Vienna | Indie Label Woche | What to do in March
What’s it all about?
Think of the festival as everything music, but without the veneer of corporate marketing. And 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 brewery in the 16th district. (The video at the bottom of the page gives you a quick insight into the event.)
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 jukeboxes. And there are more vinyl LPs, cover art and concert posters than you can shake a Fender at. Live acts and several food trucks round out the entertainment.
(Incidentally, the Asian restaurant opposite the brewery is one of my favourites.)
Traditional regulars among the dozens of exhibitors are:
- The international gig posters with an exhibition of works and various poster artists showcasing and selling their art
- DJs at work, plus live music from different genres – from singer/songwriters to rock bands
- A jukebox and pinball arcade for those who want to recreate the vibe of The Who around 1969 (i.e. me)
We went to the 2020 festival and were blown away. And not just because one of the food trucks sold the best fruit dipped in chocolate we’ve ever had (and we’ve had a *lot* of fruit dipped in chocolate).
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 jukeboxes, pinball machines and arcade games had us cooing like grandparents at a wedding. And music 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 (I fell in love with a guitar)
- Music-flavoured art, such as tiered cake stands made of old LPs
- Interesting memorabilia (fancy a game of Beatles monopoly?)
- …and more
2022 dates & tickets
The 2022 Ottakringer Vinyl & Music festival dates are provisionally set for March 4th to 6th.
Based on previous events, I expect a weekend festival pass to cost something €15, day tickets €9. Typical festival hours are:
- Saturday: 10am to 10pm (with live acts in the evening)
- Sunday: 10am to 6pm (with live acts in the afternoon)
(The 2020 event also featured a festival warm-up concert – which required separate tickets – at the Reigen venue in Vienna.)
How to get to the festival
The 16th district is working class heartland outside of the old town. But like anywhere in Vienna, it’s all easy to reach on public transport.
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
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