CAN WE MAKE SALZBURG MORE IMPORTANT AGAIN, PLEASE?
It’s been two years now since I moved to Salzburg and I’m not impressed by its live music scene. In fact, I rather hate it.
Back in the day (before I moved there), the city seemed to be a common stop for touring bands of all kinds.
From Extreme Metal to obscure Indie artists… From Sepultura to Enter Shikari and from Ólafur Arnalds to Rubik, if you insist… Salzburg has seen it all.
In today’s YDP Talks we’ll take a look at the current situation in Salzburg.
What happened to the diversity and more importantly, can we change something or is Salzburg a lost case for interesting live acts?
THE SOUND OF MOZART:
Salzburg is probably the most interesting Austrian city right after Vienna.
Mozart was born here and that’s the reason why Salzburg is important for tourists from all over the world visiting Austria. Everything in the Altstadt (old town) is about Mozart.
But truth to be told, people living in Salzburg don’t give a flying fuck about that legendary composer. It’s the tourists and tourists only.
Same thing goes for that “The Sound Of Music”-thing.
We got the “Salzburger Festspiele” in summer too and that might be the reason why many locals just disappear somewhere else during that period.
Besides tourists, Salzburg is a home to university students and you can also find a couple of people like me:
Wannabe artists that didn’t make it to art schools in Vienna, or those who were simply too poor to afford living and studying Design abroad – but not like they regret winding up in Salzburg or anything.
The Sound Of Music. One of the reasons why SBG is an important tourist-spot.
Source: SBG Tourist Information
The location of Salzburg is a big plus.
It’s a few kilometers away from the German border and Munich is just an hour away from you.
And if you ever need to go to Vienna… You’ll be there in two hours.
That’s indeed very useful for all-time travellers like me.
Diversity is a keyword in Salzburg. Besides Mozart and The Sound Of Music, the reason why it’s popular are the theatres and classical concerts (I think we got one of the largest European music universities in SBG too) and felt shitloads of museums.
But the underground scene was going strong for many years. And everyone in Salzburg knows that and is aware of the fact.
Okay. Let’s get away from the trivia for now.
I made some research on bands that played in Salzburg (mainly in Rockhouse, but many other venues included too) at some point.
In Flames played in SBG back in 2002 – Okay, I was 7 years old in 2002 and I never heard of In Flames back then.
Swallow The Sun, The 69 Eyes, Negative and Deathstars visited the city around 2006 or 2007. Disco Ensemble appeared twice as far as I remember (?).
There were also surprises like Rubik (RIP), for example.
Big artists like Epica, Trivium, Sepultura were also present somewhere in the (more recent) archives and hell… Even Nightwish played in the Salzburg Arena back in 2007ish together with Amorphis, etc.
Sounds good, right? And what do we get in 2016? Let me show you some examples…
A weird German Hip Hop band that loves french fries! Wow!
A band from I-Don’t-Know, their band name being a row of punctation marks, their music being just as exciting as their band name. Uuuuuh!
A local Indietronica project that tries to be interesting – a spark of hope? No, fuck you, that almost made me fall asleep while sipping my RedBull in the back of the venue. Sorry to say that.
Aaaand a cover-band festival… We’re still in Salzburg, right?
A cover-band festival. Alright, alright, okay!
If anything went from 10 to 5 in Salzburg, it’s the wide variety of bands coming to play there.
In case you want to see something cool, you have to travel either to Munich, Vienna or – more recently – to Linz.
But why should you, if SBG has everything what it takes?
There are the facilities to take a small show of a not-so-famous-in-Austria band and there are facilities that can take the bigger artists too.
Travelling around for shows is quite fun when you’re young and careless, enjoying your life.
But at some point you just start asking yourself the following things:
“Do I really want to drive 200 kilometers to see that band?” or “Do I really want to pay 60 Euros for train tickets?”. Both examples excluding the concert-ticket price.
Right now in the present day, Salzburg is comparable with fucking Innsbruck. You have to wait for felt ages ‘til something reasonable comes to play in your city and if it does… Well, it better be worth it.
The only difference is, that Salzburg has guts for more than only this.
Innsbruck doesn’t. Innsbruck is an uninteresting hole filled with the weirdest people of Austria (and they speak some weird kind of German too*).
Nobody wants to play in Innsbruck. Nobody. Except you don’t have a choice.
That makes me think about another thing… The people of SBG know and they’re interested in what’s happening in the local club scene. You can have a show on a Wednesday and still have people showing up.
Can’t say that about the people of Innsbruck.
And what was the best show in Salzburg in those two years of me living there?
Therapy? in November 2015, without a doubt. Hm.
* “Wie sagt ein Tiroler zur Banane? ‘Bananekrrrrrrhh’.” (How does a Tyrolean call a banana? ‚Bananekrrrrhh‘)
Yep. That’s the way the people talk in Innsbruck.
WHAT’S OUR PROBLEM?
Seriously. What’s missing here in Salzburg? Brand new set of promoters, who’d take full advantage of what the city has to offer? Nope.
There are indeed promoters who try to make Salzburg a better place for us good-live-music-lovers, but they’re not getting enough input. That’s what I think.
Everything is quite okay the way it is now… Except the bands that keep on playing here are just semi-okay. Sometimes not even semi-okay.
The concerts in Salzburg always have some great promo behind them and if you take a walk through the city, you’ll know what’s happening at the Rockhouse or at ARGE (which used to host Rock gigs too. Now it’s mostly a theatre hall as far as I know) in an instant.
That’s another advantage of the city. It’s not that big, but it’s not too small either and all the information comes through.
Let me repeat that one line:
“The people of SBG know and they’re interested…”
I don’t say that Salzburg is able to host those really big live acts you can usually spot in the big cities. It’s just perfect for semi-large and mid-range artists, but nobody seems to care bringing the good ones here.
And seriously… I’m a fan of Indie and partly also Electro music, but too much is simply too much someday.
I’m starting to think that this situation needs to change one day. How? We’ll see.
For now, we need to support the promoters that are really trying to make something happen.
Salzburg has potential. But unfortunately, nobody makes use of it.
Or is Salzburg past its glory as one of the main Austrian tour-spots for international bands? I don’t think so.
From Salzburg with Love,
Written by: Misha Nyman-Sramkova
Photos: SBG Info / Archive