About the Festival

The donaufestival is a festival for music, performance and art that takes place over two spring weekends in the Lower Austrian town of Krems.

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Angel-Ho © David Visnjic / donaufestival


Every year, the Krems donaufestival creates a vibrant parallel world of adventurous aesthetics, in which music, performance, art, film and discourse come together to create a special local experience. Today, it is regarded as a dazzling source of inspiration for cross-genre, globally orientated contemporary art and experimental contexts.

In the first year of its repositioning in 2005 under the artistic direction of Tomas Zierhofer-Kin, the new festival model, which was aimed at a predominantly young audience, was still seen as a great risk that was greeted with euphoria but also viewed with scepticism. Since then, it has become a fixture in the European festival landscape, generating a great response both through local collaborations and international co-productions.

Since 2017, the donaufestival has been under the artistic direction of publicist and radio journalist Thomas Edlinger. Bettina Kogler initially supported him as curator for performance. Following her appointment as Artistic Director of Tanzquartier Wien, Astrid Peterle was brought into the team as her successor from 2018 to 2022. Mateusz Szymanówka has been Programme Advisor for Performance since 2023.

Each edition has a leitmotif: "Empathy" (2017), "Endless Present" (2018), "New Society" (2019) and "Machines Like Us" (2020, cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis), "In the Year of the Metal Ox" (autumn edition 2021), "Stealing the Stolen" (2022), "Beyond Human" (2023) and "Community of Aliens" (2024). The donaufestival examines social developments and cultural constellations that influence the self-image and interests of today's creative practices. Each year's theme will also be discussed in a high-calibre talk format during the festival.

Up to 20 events at different venues can be attended each day with a day ticket. In addition, donaufestival visitors receive free admission to the current exhibitions at the Kunstmeile Krems venues.

    © Michael Tripolt-Felch & Patrick Sturm / donaufestival
    Dopplereffekt © David Visnjic / donaufestival
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