© Foto Oberösterreich Tourismus/Bad Ischl/Tom Son: Eine Frau und ein Mann stehen bei einem Geländer an der Traun in Bad Ischl im Salzkammergut.
Eine Frau und ein Mann stehen bei einem Geländer an der Traun in Bad Ischl, der Mann hat ein Prospekt in der Hand, sie lächeln sich an.
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Bad Ischl - City of Culture

A variety of cultural events take place in Bad Ischl throughout the year. Whether jazz, operetta, poetry, boogie & blues or Irish-Celtic folk - Bad Ischl is a centre for cultural events of all kinds. Local customs are also not neglected and are celebrated several times a year in an incomparable way.

European Capital of Culture 2024

In 2024, the Salzkammergut with Bad Ischl as the banner city will bear the title of European Capital of Culture. For the first time in history, it will take place in the inner Alpine region. A total of 23 municipalities between Roitham am Traunfall and Bad Mitterndorf are part of the Capital of Culture region.

Spa music Bad Ischl

From mid-May to mid-October, countless events take place for our guests with free admission.
Concerts by the spa orchestra, daily concert hours by the spa quartet at various venues in town, chamber music in the Trinkhalle, traditional evenings and concerts. Musical diversity is guaranteed!

Festivals in Bad Ischl

Interesting festivals have been taking place in Bad Ischl for many years. The themes have ranged from boogie & blues to poetry and classical music. Bad Ischl was also one of the venues for the Festival of the Regions in 2021.

Currently, in addition to the Lehár Festival in July and August, the Country Festival at Whitsun and the Winter Variete in February take place annually.

Founded in 1961 under the name "Internationale Gesellschaft - Die Operette", the Lehár Festival is today the largest operetta festival in Austria and is also known beyond Austria's borders. Every year, in honour of Franz Lehár, who gave the festival its name, there is always at least one production with a Lehár connection. In 2021 the play "Dein war mein ganzes Herz" by Jenny W. Gregor was premiered in Bad Ischl.

Since 1984, the Country Circle Bad Ischl has organised the annual Country Festival at Whitsun. In addition to musicians from the regional and national country scene, international guests always perform at the festival.

Lewis Niderman, the Bellamy Brothers, High South and Marina Jay have already performed here.

Wolfgang Gerold has been presenting the LehárTHEATERostern Festival as artistic director since 2018. So far, guests have enjoyed "Das Konzert" (2018, comedy by H. Bahr), "Pension Schöller" (2019, comedy by W. Jacoby & C. Laufs), "Der Raub der Sabinerinnen" (2021, comedy by Franz and Paul von Schönthan) and "Der Unbestechliche" (2022, comedy by Hugo von Hofmansthal). 2023 will see the premiere of "Kaiserfleisch", a comedy by Michael Korth.

The premiere of the 1st Winter Varieté Bad Ischl, which was more than enthusiastically received by the audience and celebrated with standing ovations at 2 performances, showed once again that it is worth daring the wonderful even in difficult times.
The programme "Spirit Dreams" by Dirk Denzer convinced with international artists, acrobats, jugglers, aerial artists, musicians and a comedian.

In February 2023, the Winter Varieté will be back in Bad Ischl with Dirk Denzer's new programme "Dream Journeys".

The Shake the Lake Boogie Festival has taken place at regular intervals in Bad Ischl and on Lake Wolfgang since 1995. At the last festival in 2015, they were also guests in Hallstatt. Richard Loidl, Clemens Vogler, Markus Brandl and Johnny Schütten are not only the organisers of the festival but also act as an important musical component of the concerts. Internationally renowned musicians such as Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Robert Shumy, Jools Holland, Albert Koch, Axel Zwingenberger and Steve Clayton have also been part of the festival.

The poetry festival "Silbentanz" took place in Bad Ischl from 26 to 29 October 2017. Top-class artists together with musicians spanned an arc between antiquity and the present, dialect and language compression. Adele Neuhauser, Oliver Karbus, Peter WesenAuer and Michael Köhlmeier were just some of the artists who took part in the festival.

The art festival "Der andere Franz" took place in Bad Ischl from 28 June to 1 July 2018. In addition to installations that were only set up for the duration of the festival, a picture was given a permanent place in Bad Ischl. A picture of the great master of operetta Franz Lehár can be seen on the side of the Lehár Theatre in Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Street.

From 3.10. to 5.10.2019, the 1st International Leschetizky World Congress took place in Bad Ischl. Guests from all over the world came to this congress to celebrate and honour the work of Theodor Leschetizky. His descendants were also present at this congress.

From 9.8. to 16.8.2020, several readings took place under the term LiteraturBad Ischl. However, these were by no means classical readings as one might expect. Instead, at one reading, for example, the speaker sat in a bathtub in the spa. One author, on the other hand, walked with the guests to the places she had described in her book.

In summer 2020, the International Summer Varieté took place in Bad Ischl from 2.8. to 9.8.20. Artists, movement wonders, comedians, jugglers and aerialists from all over the world thrilled the audience over four days with an unforgettable programme.

For the second time after 2019, the Salzkammergut Klassik Festival took place from 7.8. to 30.8.2020 in Bad Ischl and on Lake Attersee. For Bad Ischl, the famous baritone Thomas Hampson could be won for a concert every year.

The 15th edition of the Festival of Regions took place from 25 June to 4 July in Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, Hallstatt and Obertraun - it focused entirely on the Upper Austrian part of the historic Salzkammergut. For the first time, selected artists, the so-called "KulturNaut*innen", developed their projects directly in the region with the local population.