My festival predecessor, Trude Kranzl, used to end a phone call or planning meeting with the following sentence: "We keep fighting!"
I loved this sentence. And I took over this festival that Trude Kranzl fought for, full of joy and energy. However, for almost two years now, the fighting spirit has been waning because the battle, virus against culture, is an incredibly draining one.
And that's when I think about another quote. A sentence from a famous Viennese song:
„Den Wurschtl kaun kana daschlogn!“ (transl.: 'Noone can strike Wurschtl dead!‘)
The "Wurschtl" here, in good Viennese, refers to the "Kasperl". The verb „wurschteln“ - e.g. to muddle through - is probably derived from this, although I am of the opinion that the "Wurschtel", as he lives and breathes in the puppet theatre, approaches and solves his problems quite straightforwardly. He is more of a "fighter" than a "Wurschtler".
The juxtaposition of the verbs "to fight" and „wurschteln“/"to muddle through" brings up parallels to cultural work in times of the pandemic. Two years ago, organizing a festival had some "fighting" about it, but now it's more and more like "muddling through". We are still looking for great artists for the audience, who thanks us with enthusiasm, good attendance and applause, and we don't know whether all this is allowed. We muddle along from week to week. Are we allowed? How are we allowed? Do we find out in time whether we are allowed and how we are allowed, so that it can all be planned and organized well?
To summarize the situation with another quote:
"I would have liked to, but I didn't dare to be allowed." (Karl Valentin)
Yes, that's the situation behind the scenes of cultural work in Austria. Nevertheless, we will continue to fight and muddle through until March 2022. For you, dear audience! And we hope that you will remain loyal to us despite all the adversities. We will do our best, because: „Den Wurschtl kaun kana daschlogn!“
We look forward to seeing you!
Gerti Tröbinger and the festival team