On tour with Hubert von Goisern through the northern Salzkammergut

Salzkammergut 2024 13 July 2022 | Photo: © Pia Fronia

Vorchdorf → Laakirchen → Kirchham → Scharnstein → Pettenbach → Roitham → St. Konrad

Preparations for the European Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024 are already in full swing and the diverse programme is taking concrete shape. The first events are already taking place and the advance campaign "23 for 24" is starting to be seen throughout the region. To mark this, the team around artistic director Elisabeth Schweeger, together with Hubert von Goisern, member of the committee of the European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl Salzkammergut 2024, set out on Friday, 8 July, on a trip to seven towns in the northern Salzkammergut to inform the mayors of the participating municipalities about the diverse projects, the progress of the plans and the starting campaign.

Salzkammergut 2024

APA 28 April 2022 | Photo: © OnMediaART Veronika Scharinger

The Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024 is taking shape. Artistic director Elisabeth Schweeger (above right with commercial director Manuela Reichert and Hubert von Goisern) presented the first projects, division heads and a prestigious committee at a press conference on Wednesday. "Power and tradition", "Culture in flow" and "Sharing Salzkammergut" define subjects such as the Habsburgs, Jewish life, over-tourism, traffic and the art of travel. A campaign to draw guests into the region will run from June through to "Salzkammergut 2024".

The aim is to become visible and create interest in the event in two years, Schweeger explained. The slogan "Culture is the new salt" remains, albeit supplemented by the "23 for 24" motif, a reference to the distinction that for the first time in the 37-year history of the European Capital of Culture, 23 municipalities have been awarded.

The first event on 29 May, the concert evening with Corinna Harfouch for Alma Rosé, who directed the Auschwitz orchestra, should whet the appetite for more. After Schweeger noticed that there was little about Jewish life in the Salzkammergut in the bid book, a number more things were submitted in the open call. Projects such as the popup film festival Blickpunkte and the Hallstatt_Denwerkstatt will be in development from this year to 2024.

[…] Commercial director aims to increase the budget of 25.8m Euros by two or three million Euros with sponsoring. The opening event set for 19/20 January has a budget of 1.5m Euros and includes the operetta Eine Frau, die weiß, was sie will by Oscar Straus, directed by Barrie Kosky from the Komische Oper Berlin.

[...] Schweeger also presented a committee of prestigious supporters that stands for the region, cultural commitment and high quality with Aleida Assmann, Hubert von Goisern, Xenia Hausner, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Tom Neuwirth/Conchita Wurst, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Franz Welser-Möst, Hannes Androsch and Johanna Mitterbauer. "In Austria there's a tradition of making fun of everything and talking things down. I want to be a counter to that," Hubert von Goisern, who was part of Linz09, said of his own motives.

"Great, great, great"

Salzburger Nachrichten 13th November 2019 | Text: Bernhard Flieher

Hubert von Goisern is delighted for Bad Ischl: "Great, great, great". Hubert von Goisern was initially sceptical about his home region bidding to be the European Capital of Culture, but now sees "a huge opportunity".

From a very young age, Bad Ischl railway station was the gateway to the world for Hubert Achleitner from Bad Goisern, as he explained in an interview with the SN years ago. You can certainly leave the valley through this gateway, but guests are also able to enter. And ever more do so. For that very reason Hubert von Goisern was initially "quite sceptical, not to say against" his home region's bid to be European Capital of Culture. After the decision on Tuesday though, he responded enthusiastically in an interview with the SN: "Great, great, great". During the course of the bid, he had been persuaded of its importance and meaningfulness. "It offers the opportunity to pose pressing questions, for instance about the future of tourism in the region", he said. The visitors from all over the world would be coming anyway. It's "time to consider how we manage it and what that means for us". We certainly don't need "events like the Olympic Games or World Championships. We need to offer something else", he said, something "that makes the region challenge itself too". This opportunity is "huge now". It offers the chance - and "as European Capital of Culture there are also the means" - to analyse developments and "break new ground here and there, in terms of how we deal with over-tourism, for example".

Hubert von Goisern was not directly involved in the bid. "But when I'm here, I'm always in contact with the people". When Linz was the Capital of Culture in 2009, his concert ship journey on the Danube was part of the programme. Will he be participating in 2024 with a project of his own? "That's so far off! I've just finished a novel, which will be published in the spring. Next year there'll be a new album and a tour - I don't know what 2024 will bring."