Literatur & Wein festival report
Cheers! Another festival belongs to history! For the nineteenth time we staged „Literatur & Wein“, our international cultural festival, which we founded in – believe it or not – the good old days of 1998!
And we started quite small – only one Saturday evening and one Sunday morning matinee – but very successful! The festival was sold out from the very beginning!
And since then we stuck to the habit of being „sold out“. Parts of the 2017 festival, like Friday night or Sunday morning, were sold out already a few weeks before the festival even started.
The successful story of 2017 started on Thursday evening, when we were glad to welcome two very prominent international writers – John Burnside and Tim Parks. Both gave samples from their latest novels with Austrian Christoph Mauz reading the German part. The audience was impressed by three breath-taking readings and stormed the book store to have their copies signed.
Year after year a good start into a long festival with altogether eight events is a vital ingredient to the organizers good mood. Only three more days …
Friday evening the festival „climbed up“ Göttweig hill for the first long reading night. Watched from a distance and through a magnifying glass it must have seemed like a big, long worm heading towards the entrance gates. And the people were right to come!
Five fascinating readings by Anna Weidenholzer, Peter Henisch, Anna Mitgutsch, Katja Lange-Müller and Michael Fehr, very touching music by Austrian band ALMA and exquisite wines from the Kamptal area contributed to a great evening. But we still wanted more! At least two more days …
Super Saturday – the most challenging day of the festival!
It started at 10.30 a.m. at two different venues. At Literaturhaus NÖ moderator Klaus Zeyringer welcomed the audience to another series of „Transflair“, reading & discussion with John Wray and Rudolf Taschner on the topic „About the magic of world and time and other peculiarities“.
At the same time we hosted for the third time „VERSOPOLIS – where poetry lives“. This year we invited Kayombo Chingonyi (United Kingdom), Valentina Colonna (Italy), Rolf Hermann (Switzerland), Stanka Hrastelj (Slovenia) and Indre Valantinaite (Lithuania) plus special guest Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Kongo) to Salzstadl tavern. They rendered a very colourful mix of languages and poetry performances, leaving an enthusiastic audience behind.
Again at Salzstadl tavern there was another impressive poetry session at 1.30 p.m. with readings of John Burnside, Michael Krüger, Andrea Grill and Anja Utler.
The ones who decided for walking instead of poetry were rewarded with real April weather and a brilliant reading by Rolf Hermann from Switzerland.
Already a bit tired and exhausted, but still hungry for literature and music and thirsty for delicious wines the crowd moved up Göttweig hill again to enjoy the readings from Sabine Gruber, Jonas Lüscher, John Wray, Michael Krüger and Reinhard P. Gruber. And great band Tsatsiki Connection succeeded to blast away the beginning exhaustion by rendering Mediterranean flair to the festival.
Only one more day left …
The legs are tired and the heads are full of great impressions, but Literaturhaus NÖ is overcrowded once more at the Sunday morning matinee with final „moments of happiness“ being delivered by Antonio Fian and Christoph Mauz commemorating two late unforgettable Austrian writers – Otto Grünmandl and Ernst Jandl.
Great music by klezmer reloaded and „refreshing“ sparkling wines from the Kamptal area swung the audience into a brilliant mood, which for sure lasted far beyond the festivals end.
No more day left this year … but heading for the twenty years anniversary of the festival in 2018!