The unusual location in a city of tents in the Volksgarten (a park in the center of Salzburg), livened up by the charming performances of artists from all over the world, creates a special ambience which makes this festival one of its kind – a festival for contemporary circus in the snowy landscape of Salzburg.
For the last twelve years, Winterfest has enchanted its audience with stunnig acrobatics, gentle poetry and bizarre esprit and has proven the multifarious character of contemporary circus.
The Winterfest was founded by Georg Daxner in 2001: During a walk through the winterly park named Volksgarten, he decided to try to enliven this beautiful place throughout the wintertime and share his passion for contemporary circus with the people of Salzburg –luckily with great success!
Today, the Winterfest is the third biggest cultural event in the city of Salzburg/Austria and even the biggest festival for contemporary circus in the whole German-speaking area. Every year, the Winterfest manages to excite visitors of all ages and with its constantly growing fan community, it makes a significant contribution in improving the awareness and appreciation of contemporary circus in the region, whole Austria as well as neighboring countries.
During its more than ten years of existence, the Winterfest has welcomed over 181.600 guests and 23 companies from several countries. A few of them are Le Cirque Invisible, Compagnie Cirque, Cirque Lili, Le Cirque Désaccordé, Cirque Zanzibar, Cirque ici, La Famiglia Dimitri, Cirque XY, Cirque Rasposo, Compagnie Hors Pistes, Cirque Trottola, The Tiger Lillies Freakshow, Cie Akoreacro, Cirque Aïtal, Escarlata Circus, Le Boustrophédon or the Seven Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main).
Traditionally the festival lasts from November until January and thus pleases its fans with almost daily performances for a period of at least five weeks.
The philosophy of the Winterfest is simple: During the lively Christmas period it should convey joy and calmness to its visitors. Although located in the middle of the city of Salzburg, the venue is a quiet place where visitors can enjoy the romantic landscape, culinary delights and spectacular circus art.
Not only is the promotion of contemporary circus important to us, but also the culinary art is an essential part of the festival. The exclusive combination of culture with culinary pleasure is typical for the Winterfest. Visitors have the possibility to enjoy a nice dinner in the restaurant tent before they visit performances of a famous international circus-company. The special ambiance with snowy tents and magic circus art is drawing the masses: It attracts people from all over Austria as well as international guests.
Overview of the program 2001 - 2013
2001 Le Cirque Invisible
2002 Le Cirque Invisible, The Tiger Lillies and Salzburg Comedian Harmonists
2003 Karl Merkatz »Das Lächeln am Fuße der Leiter«
2004 Cirque Lili and »Le Jardin«
2005 Le Cirque Désaccordé, »Le Jardin« und »Der kleine Prinz«
2006 Compagnie Zanzibar und Cirque Ici
2007 La Famiglia Dimitri
2008 Cirque XY and Cirque Rasposo
2009 Compagnie Hors Pistes, Cirque Trottola and SAWAZI (Salzburger Waldorfzirkus)
2010 »The Tiger Lillies Freakshow«, National Circus School Montreal, Cie Akoreacro, Cirque Aïtal, Escarlata Circus and the Spiegeltent
2011 The 7 Fingers, Cirque Rasposo, L'Atelier Lefeuvre & André, Le Boustrophédon
2012 Cie Le Cubitus du Manchot, Cirque inextrémiste, Théâtre d'un jour, Cie Circ'ombelico
2013 The 7 Fingers, David Dimitri, Forman Brothers and the Spiegeltent