Donaufestival Krems, 2010
Apart from the Donaufestival, the small town of Krems isn’t really a popcultural hotspot. Well, there are quite a lot of students, but their presence doesn’t really show in the daily (and nightly) life of Krems. So, even though we are exploring the city together with the US-based electronic synth-pop band Former Ghosts – Freddy Rupperts new project, after he has already performed as „This Song Is A Mess But So Am I“ – for one and a half hours, there is not much interaction with locals. During the first song („Dream“), that was shot in a covered staircase, some people timidly getting closer, but when they realize that they might not get past the band without attracting attention (of the band or the camera or both), they just turn around and look for another way. People in bigger, more crowded cities would probably have walked straight through the scene. For „New Orleans“ the two guys choose the church as a location after some discussion, with a Jesus Christ statue witnessing their intense performance. On the way back, we stop in the middle of the football ground nearby the venue, just on the kick-off point. They set up their gear once more for an impressive version of „The Days Will Get Long Again“ to complete our little, utterly enjoyable afternoon city walk.
Donaufestival is a festival for advanced pop music, theatre, film and performances in the Lower Austrian town Krems. The festival significantly changed its artistic orientation in 2005, when the “new” Donaufestival started with Tomas Zierhofer-Kin as artistic director. Since then it takes place annually on two or three weekends in spring, presenting and celebrating the most relevant popcultural movements. 2008’s motto is “Angst. Obsession. Beauty.”, which gives space to noisy avant-garde-pop acts like Liars, The Go-Team and Health as well as to numerous queer artists like The Hidden Cameras, Scott Matthew and Xiu Xiu. Contrary to all those common summer festivals music is only a part of the Donaufestival, as there are performances, film screenings and exclusive commissioned works shown on several locations all over Krems. Apart from the Donaufestival, Krems is rather known as a destination for tourists than for its popcultural scene. It is situated right by the river Danube and in the because of its beautiful landscape very popular Wachau region. Krems is particularly famous for its vine-yards located picturesquely on the hills ascending from the Danube (the town even has its own viniculture college) and the Old Town with its narrow cobblestone lanes. The city of Krems dates back more than 1000 years as first settlements of Germans and Slavs were documented in 995. Apart from tourism Krems is known as a place for trade fairs and industry, has a University specialising only in post-graduate-studies and is home of the biggest penal institution in Austria. With almost 30.000 inhabitants Krems is the fifth biggest town in Lower Austria, which is the province around Vienna.