The term Pflasterspektakel is a German word which translates into pavement spectacle. Pflasterspektakel in Linz, Austria happens to be one of the biggest street art festivals in Europe. The street is their stage, the passers-by their audience, this line perfectly describes the essence of Pflasterspektakel. From high-wire and fire acrobatics to circus artistry, pantomime to improvisational theatre, there is a wide variety of performances which lends Pflasterspektakel its unique character.
The Pflasterspektakel is the brainchild of Siegbert Janko, the cultural manager of Linz since 1985. The inaugural Pflasterspektakel took place under the name of International Street Musicians’ Days between 16 to 19 July 1987. Drawing over 200000 visitors under its spell every year, the diversity of Pflasterspektakel with approximately 400 street artists, both professionals and amateurs promises to provide high quality and entertainment.
• Dates: Pflasterspektakel usually happens during the second half of July. The festival is spread over a span of three days. The opening ceremony is usually held on a Thursday at 4 p.m. The closing time is at midnight each day. However, most pubs remain open till late at night.
• Location: Linz’s city centre with the Landstrasse shopping mile, side streets, on the main square and in the Old City.
Accessing the city of Linz, where Pflasterspektakel takes place is easy. Linz, being the third largest city in Austria, is well connected with major cities via flight. Visitors have the option of either taking a direct flight to the Blue Danube Airport of Linz or the better-connected Vienna airport. Though there is no dearth of accommodation options in Linz, where the Pflasterspektakel festival takes place, it tends to get crowded during the carnival. So visitors are advised to book their hotels beforehand, in order to avoid any last minute glitches.
In And Around The Festival
An astounding fact about Pflasterspektakel is the fact that being a street festival, the artists change regularly between 40 fixed performance spots. The various performance zones include the Pflasterspektakel Worlds Altstadt, Promenade-Herrenstraße-Spittelwiese, Pfarrplatz, Hauptplatz (main square), Landstraße as well as various inner courtyards. Performances are presented every hour.
Some major highlights of the Pflasterspektakel festival are:
• Inaugural Parade: The best way to soak in the colours of Pflasterspektakel is by attending the inaugural parade with all artists dancing their way along Landstraße to Hauptplatz. It usually happens on a Thursday and starts at 4 pm.
• Sound Courts: This is the best place for all the music enthusiasts attending Pflasterspektakel. Two selected courts offer a continuous music programme throughout the festival with a wide variety of performers.
• Samba Parade: As the name suggests, witness the hot rhythms and joie de vivre roll through the Landstrasse.
• Fire Shows: The name says it all. Witness a series of breathtaking fire shows which are accompanied audience with dance and acrobatics, once darkness falls.
• Walkacts: One moment they are still, in the blink of a second, they’re walking. Dressed in costumes and masks, they can be spotted at any of the corners at Pflasterspektakel. Wandering on the streets, the Walkacts turn public space into a stage for theatre performances.
For a fun filled vacation, plan a visit to Austria when the Pflasterspektakel is on!