Salzburg Festival Bans Usage of Fans During Performances

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: (c) Tourismus Salzburg GmbH, Günter Breitegger)

The management of the Salzburg Festival has decided to ban the usage of cooling fans during performances, for safety reasons related to COVID-19 circumstances.

The festival has adopted strict hygiene measures in order to keep both the artists and audiences safe during performances. All artists are regularly tested for COVID-19, and they have to keep both contact and the health diary. No intermissions are allowed, and visitors are required to wear facemasks at every point, and can only put them down when seated during the performance. Audiences are then requested to put their facemasks on as soon as the applause begins after the performance.

“Fans could spread infectious aerosols laterally, which is something that we absolutely want to avoid,” said Lukas Crepaz, the festival’s commercial director. “Those aerosols should be sucked up upwards by our air-conditioning system instead,” added Crepaz.

As a part of the whole safety concept, over 2,000 COVID-19 tests have been carried out for the employees of the festival up to this moment, including the artists. Only one positive case was detected before the official start of the festival. The person in question was quarantined along with her contacts, and all other tests have been negative.

“Our safety concept is aligned with the health policy in Austria, and has been successful so far in keeping infections at bay,” Crepaz added. “We have 24 more days to go, but it is a thoroughly calculated risk.”