Think of Waves Vienna as a three-day showcase for new music from Austria and beyond. A place to discover the next big thing when they’re still a relatively small thing. But the festival is also a voice for integration and understanding, as illustrated in the event’s main motto, East meets West: Diversity.
- Offers a public stage for dozens of new bands and musicians across multiple genres
- Supporting programme of workshops, panels and networking opportunities
- Guest country each year (Switzerland last time)
- 2024 dates: TBA (was Sept 7 – 9 in 2023)
- See also:
Concerts & conference
(Denmark’s Reveal Party played on the Friday in 2023 at the Queer Music Agency Night)
As the world seems determined to make a mess of itself, a few events raise their head above the parapet of intolerance and distrust to offer the promise of a brighter future with a smile and a song.
Or lots of songs in the case of Waves Vienna.
As part of INES (Innovation Network of European Showcases), the event provides a platform for mainly new and relatively unknown musicians to cut their teeth on a festival stage and perform to a wider public, introducing promising talent to a curious and open-minded audience.
And that talent is not from the garage down some Vienna sidestreet. The festival draws in dozens of performers from around the world, albeit with an emphasis on Austria and its eastern neighbours. The event cuts across genres, from rock to R&B.
The lineup for one recent Waves Vienna, for example, featured bands and musicians from over 20 countries, including Austria, the Ukraine, Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Denmark, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, and Hungary.
So, yes, a truly international event where what matters is the music, not the passport.
While the live performances dominate, the event has an attached conference, too.
Those in the broader music industry (or with an interest in the same) meet at lectures, workshops, panels, and more to discuss the burning topics of our time, such as market challenges, gender issues, and how Ed Sheeran got a cameo in Game of Thrones. (I may have made up one of those topics).
2024 dates and tickets
I don’t have dates yet for 2024. The last event took place across Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 7th to 9th. Tickets for both the music and the conference were available through the official website, which (of course) will have details of the line up etc. etc. as they become available.
How to get to Waves Vienna
Check the website for locations, too.
The 2023 event had gigs and performances at various clubs and venues along Vienna’s Gürtel ring road that splits the outer and inner districts from each other, but also at the Metropol cabaret, theatre and concert hall.
(The Gürtel is a music and cultural hotspot, which has its own annual musical event too.)
The conference, however, occupied the 9th district’s Das West location: former home to Vienna’s University of Economics and Business, which moved to some splendid new premises in the Prater.