Bad Gastein is one of those rare places where, almost as soon as you enter it, the world outside its mountain-defined borders seems to evaporate into a distant memory. Imagine you’re walking down one of the spa town’s many winding Alpine streets, en route to a thermal water spring no less, and the unmistakable smell of spray paint begins to mix with that of the mountain air. Your first reaction is confusion. “What IS that?” you ask yourself as your second reaction begins; you remember what spray paint is and begin for a moment to come back to the real world. As you round a corner and begin down some stairs, you realize that you have not just had your Bad Gastein bubble burst. No, you have just entered a new pocket of it: sommer.frische.kunst.
The summer long festival program includes an artist residency culminating in the presentation of a light installation by artist Thomas Hoke and an exhibition opening on August 27th in the historic hydroelectric power station, used in the meantime as a studio building for the residency’s artists. After you’ve worked your way all the way down the hillside, it’s no time to be shy – the power station door is more than likely open, and if you happen to catch one of the artists with a minute to spare, maybe you’ll get a preview of what’s to come in August’s exhibition. If you don’t get lucky at the power station, don’t despair. Just head up to Hotel Miramonte where works by several of the artists – who are also spending their residency at the hotel – are on display in the lobby and dining room.
Visual arts not really your thing? No problem, sommer.frische.kunst still has something for you! The Summer Jazz In The City program offers 15 national and international jazz acts performing in the open air, or if the skies aren’t cooperating that evening, in the Grand Hotel de l’Europe.