Close this search box.
Pictured in the photo (from left): Center Manager Mag. Manuel Mayer, EUROPARK Managing Director Mag. Marcus Wild, OVAL Artistic Director Margret Stronegger, and EUROPARK Managing Director Mag. Christoph Andexlinger. Credit: Wildbild

15 Years of OVAL – The Stage in EUROPARK

OVAL, an art and cultural center of great interest to a wide-ranging public, which inspires, entertains, and captivates its visitors time and time again, opened its doors 15 years ago in October 2005 at Salzburg’s EUROPARK shopping center. Managing Directors Marcus Wild and Christoph Andexlinger came up with the concept for the center.

Back then, the project was viewed with a certain degree of skepticism – and, in many cases, with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Today, the OVAL is one of the most established concert and cabaret stages in Austria. OVAL has carved out a solid place for itself in Salzburg’s cultural scene, among artists and audiences alike, thanks to its qualit

The diverse program offered by OVAL – The Stage in EUROPARK has drawn numerous art lovers to the Taxham district of Salzburg for the past 15 years: From cabaret, music, theater, craftwork, and lectures to the art house cinema for children and adults, the venue covers a broad spectrum of performance offerings that were previously unavailable in such a format in Salzburg. Frequent visitors include guests from the City and State of Salzburg as well as those from neighboring Austrian states and the State of Bavaria in Germany. 

“Our desire for EUROPARK and OVAL to be mutually enriching has been completely fulfilled. We are exceedingly proud of the fact that OVAL, under the direction of Margret Stronegger, with technical support provided by Rupert Pichler and his Pansound team, and with the handling of ticket sales carried out by Stefan Hausharter and his ticket office Neubaur, has proven to be a superb and extremely successful concept. We would like to thank all of them as well as our EUROPARK team, which is responsible for the marketing of OVAL, and congratulate them for reaching this 15-year milestone,” say EUROPARK Managing Directors Marcus Wild and Christoph Andexlinger, who are delighted by the success story of Europe’s first year-round, shopping center-based art and culture stage.

y-oriented program, state-of-the-art stage and cinema technology, and its remarkably pleasant ambiance. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, OVAL audiences will be able to enjoy a unique sound experience: a newly installed, revolutionary, 3D sound system – the first of its kind to be used inside any concert hall in the German-speaking world.

Fifteen Years of Inspiration and High-class Entertainment
Artistic Director Margret Stronegger has been responsible for OVAL’s multifaceted program since day one. Over the past 15 years, she has succeeded in bringing numerous renowned artists, up-and-coming young talents, and artists acquired via insider recommendation to the OVAL. “I am always particularly pleased to see young artists who give one of their first stage performances at OVAL subsequently go on to enjoy successful careers. And, even though they are able to fill venues that are considerably larger than ours, many of them still return to OVAL, because they truly appreciate the audiences, the atmosphere, and the technical quality,” she says. In addition, Margret Stronegger has established a large number of cooperations with numerous other cultural institutions and establishments, which have been very successful for many years. Partners include the International Mozarteum Foundation, the Salzburg Landestheater, the Theater Ecce, the Friedburger Puppenbühne, and the film culture center DAS KINO, which has been a film partner for the repertory cinema at OVAL from the very beginning. “The OVAL also provides a platform for numerous regional associations and schools, thereby making a valuable contribution to cultural activities involving children and teenagers. The inclusion of OVAL in the list of venues participating in Mozart Week by the festival’s artistic director Rolando Villazón has given us a sort of ‘accolade’ of which we can be proud,” says Margret Stronegger with great joy.

New Sound System Provides an Amazing Sound Experience
“OVAL has also been known for its great acoustics and sound quality from the outset. We have currently entered a new dimension in sound and have been using an innovative, revolutionary sound system developed by the French audio specialists L-Acoustics for a few weeks,” says Christoph Andexlinger, Managing Director of EUROPARK, describing the latest investment. “From this point forward, we will be able to offer our visitors and artists a sound experience that has only been technically possible for a short period of time. This system is taking the market by storm, and we are pleased to be the first stage in the German-speaking world to provide such a sound experience,” says Andexlinger enthusiastically. The core of the system consists of a processor that sends the received signals from sound sources to up to 39 box units distributed along the walls and on the ceiling above the audience. Such technology enables the individual instruments as well as the voices of the performers to be heard in an unprecedented, intensive, all-round manner. “It feels as though you are standing right in the middle of the musicians – the transmission of the sound of the instruments is so clear and distinct. If you close your eyes, you can assign each sound source to an exact place in the room – and that can be done from every seat,” says Andexlinger, raving about the new technology. He continues: “Once again, the OVAL shines as a pioneer and trailblazer for live experiences – this time with a special, magical sound.”

COVID-19: High Standards of Hygiene and 100% Fresh Air
As a matter of course, especially during times like these, the health and well-being of the audience as well as of the artists is the top priority. To ensure that visitors enjoy safe and pleasant stays at OVAL, the existing high standards of hygiene and safety at OVAL have been further enhanced since the start of the new season. The air conditioning and ventilation system supplies 100% fresh air to the concert auditorium, thereby ensuring repeated and complete exchanges of air in the room every hour. “We are pleased with the high level of discipline and understanding that has been shown by our visitors, be it when they wear their masks before and after performances or when they provide safety-related data,” emphasizes Artistic Director Margret Stronegger. As is the case at other cultural institutions, seats are assigned in accordance with the applicable distance regulations. Whenever possible, the respective program is performed without a break. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, some events had to be postponed in spring 2020, but they are now scheduled to take place in the fall of 2020 and in early 2021. All tickets will remain valid, but the seating will have to be adjusted in accordance with distance regulations.

Numerous Anniversary Highlights in the Autumn and Winter of 2020
The 16th season includes a number of special program highlights:

  • Willi Resetarits & Stubnblues are scheduled to perform the virtuoso double concert “artmann.spuren.2020” on Tuesday, 6 October and Wednesday, 7 October.
  • From Wednesday, 14 October to Saturday, 17 October, Joe Pichler and other speakers will demonstrate how traveling will (hopefully) soon be making a comeback during the 12th Adventure Days at EUROPARK.
  • On Thursday, 22 October, Erwin Steinhauer & klezmer reloaded is due to deliver a very special musical melange at Café Benatzky & Leopoldi.
  • Having opened the main stage of the Donauinselfest in 2019, The Sellout has already rocked the largest stage in the country and is one of the most active rock and pop groups in Salzburg. The excitement surrounding the double concert at OVAL on Friday, 13 November and Saturday, 14 November is incredible.
  • Querschläger, a regular guest at OVAL and a favorite from the start, is set to give its traditional double concert at OVAL on Thursday, 19 November and Friday, 20 November.
  • The 25th Guinness Irish Christmas Concert, which will bring Kevin Burke, Seamie O’Dowd, HighTime, and Karen Tansey to OVAL on Thursday, 3 December, has become a much-loved tradition.
  • Weinzettl & Rudle are scheduled to present their successful cabaret program “Zum x-ten Mal” on Wednesday, 30 December.
  • On Thursday, 7 January 2021, Roland Düringer is due to present his “Africa Twinis” program.
  • Benjamin Schmid, Georg Breinschmid, and Thomas Gansch are scheduled for a musical rendezvous at OVAL on Thursday, 14 January 2021.
  • From Saturday, 23 January to Saturday, 30 January 2021, the OVAL, in cooperation with the International Mozarteum Foundation, will host a Mozart Week location for the third time: The Allee Theater Hamburg is due to present its guest performance “Der kleine Mozart”.


Subscribe to ACROSS Magazine

Across print & digital

Enjoy ACROSS – The European Placemaking Magazine on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

Latest Print Issue