Festivals for the Performing Arts in Public Space

Festivals in public space are extremely varied in their scope and content. They are often characterised by an interdisciplinary artistic orientation as well as a direct reference to the performance venue.

Theatre and the performing arts in public space are “at home” in these kinds of festivals. In comparison to classical theatres, which also manifests themselves in the architecture of their buildings, these outdoor festivals can be described as “momentary” institutions of the performing arts. Street theatre festivals and similar events are also a hub for national and international networking within the genre. They contribute to strengthening the scene and helping to establish cultural-political recognition of the art form.

Street theatre festivals represent an extra-ordinary use of public space. One in which new perspectives can be created and cultural exchange promoted. Due to the accessibility of these outdoor locations, as well as the mostly free access to the event, street theatre festivals offer a low-threshold entry to the arts and can therefore develop a cultural mediating potential. Due to the large variety of possible stages, outdoor festivals offer its actors a wide range of performance possibilities. Their “hijacking” of these everyday locations encourages new artistic perspectives on the status quo. Often, the local context is reflected by the festival curators, resulting in a symbiosis of art, public space and audience.