Donauniselfest 2023: 3 million people, 11 stages, 1,500 acts, 600 hours of music in the heart of one of Europe’s most chilled cities Donauinselfest – or ‘Danube Island Festival’ to most of us – is one of the world’s biggest festivals and you’ve probably never heard of it. The festival takes place annually in June […]Donauniselfest 2023 Donauinsel, 1210 Wien, Austria Vienna Austria
Donauinselfest – or ‘Danube Island Festival’ to most of us – is one of the world’s biggest festivals and you’ve probably never heard of it. The festival takes place annually in June with over 3 million people heading to Vienna, Austria for the free music festival. In 2023, Europe’s largest open-air festival with free admission celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The festival venue is accessible by ferry, on foot across the bridge and by train. Spanning a group of islands in the middle of the Danube that cover over 4.5 kilometres and are covered in stages, food tents and market stalls for one weekend a year.
The main appeal is, of course, the music. With artists covering rock, pop, dance, punk, hip-hop, Germanophone, all the way to golden oldies and folk there’s definitely somewhere you’ll want to be throughout the whole weekend. Discover new music and dance the day away whilst enjoying the sun in one of the 11 open air stages and only stop when you want to grab some food or drink, mostly provided by local independent vendors.
‘Every June over 3 million fans flock to Danube Island in Vienna to head to one of the world’s biggest festival’.
Make sure you step away from the music to explore the other festival’s other offerings. At the Kreativmarket you’ll find original wares from over twenty young designers selling anything from clothing to artwork. If you’re feeling inspired by the artists onstage, why not give it a go yourself and maybe even win some prizes at the new Karaoke stage.
Wanting to get the adrenaline pumping? Then the Action & Fun island is for you. Show off your best flips, spins, and flops at the 10 ft tower Bag Jump, or get an aerial view of the millions of screaming fans below you from 160 metres in the air with the Flying Fox.
Whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple, or with a group of friends this festival is a bucket list must if you’re a music, arts, or adventure lover.
As the festival is located on Danube Island you have to take a ferry across the river, once on the island you can get around to everything easily by foot.
For travel around the city why not grab a Vienna City Card? You can get 24, 48, or 72 hour cards (starting from €17) and include free travel on public transport, the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour, and app to help you navigate the city, and loads of other benefits.
Unfortunately camping isn’t available at this festival but Vienna is filled with options of places to stay. Budget conscious travellers can find options for under $100(USD) a night, with options right on the river, overlooking the island festival, starting just above that – check out the River Lodge.
Or, if the free festival has liberated your budget a bit, the city centre is only a short walk away from the festival site and crammed with more luxurious accommodations that are more conveniently located for site seeing in the city.
With over 600 hours of acts at the festival there’s no doubt that you’ll always find something to do. Past years highlights include: Lisa Stansfield – winner of Brit Awards and Billboard Music Awards, Antilopen Gang – one of the biggest bands in Germany right now, and Portugal. The Man – an indie pop band from the USA.
There’s more to the festival than just music though, so make sure you check out some of the sports, readings, and other activities on offer on the island including trying out your best gymnastics on the 10 foot bag jump or flying 160 metres above the crowd on the Flying Fox.
There are plenty of rad things to do in Austria. Here’s are pick for the top 5 things to do in Vienna.
The 40th Donauniselfest is on from June 23-25, 2023.
Photos by Oli Russell-Cowan
Plan ahead: Book your perfect trip with our Austria travel guide and destination information. Does Austria require a visa? Check the visa requirements before you get caught up during your travel.
Spend money wisely: Take public transport and dine in from time to time are common saving tips during traveling. How to spend money wisely in Austria? Make use of technology. There’s an app for everything.
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