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32nd Linzer Pflasterspektakel: 19. - 21. July 2018
Festival Festival

Now & Then

In times of the world wide web and globalization it’s hard to imagine how one could manage to organize a street performance festival in Austria, a country with no tradition in street performance art, that soon should become one of the biggest festivals in Europe and well known all over the world…

Thanks to the strong belief in the idea of initiator Siegbert Janko and the commitment of the staff back then, the project worked out. Without modern means of communication they established contacts to artists from all over the world – a very special challenge in the 1980ies targeting street artists who are touring most of the time and don’t have agencies or bookers who represent them.

After a successful start and sequels the Pflasterspektakel Linz soon gained internationally a good reputation as well organized, fair and innovative festival. The popularity among the audience with rising numbers of visitors every year contributed to this success.

Now and then artists apply to participate in Pflasterspektakel. For some years this application procedure works completely digital – at all times of the day, conveniently in front of the computer. Nowadays smartphones make it easy to shoot videos of the performances to submit with the application. In pre-digitalization times photo prints and lots of paper were sent around the globe to apply for the festival participation.

The possibilities of the digital world also influenced the art form itself and contributed to the process of professionalization as not only the communication with organizers is much easier but also the means of presentation. The documentation of performance art in public space and the increasing exchange with other disciplines refined street performance art substantial. Also new technologies find its way into the performances and enable new forms of presentation.

However, one thing remains the same now and then: The interaction of artists and audience. This is crucial to street performance art and its direct, spontaneous and varied quality. Just get into it and you’ll gain a lot of memorable moments!