Georg Daxner

Founder of the Winterfest


Pioneer and Visionary – Georg Daxner has made a feast of Salzburg´s Winter.

16 years ago a snow-covered car was the only thing to be seen in Salzburg´s Volksgarten. This inspired an solitary cyclist to create something that would change Salzburg´s Winter forever. Today here the biggest festival of contemporary circus art has its place. The Salzburger Winterfest is a vision come true of a remarkable man, who never gave up dreaming.

He grew up in Baden near Vienna and has lived in Salzburg with his family since 1981. He started as manager in the Kulturgelände Nonntal, where he soon was responsible for the programming of this cultural centre. As one of the first acts he signed the troupe´ Cirkustheater Federlos, whom he subsequently followed to Switzerland. The fascination? The nomadic characteristics of a circus, the creation of an infrastructure on the spot, each time a new beginning, a process undergoing permanent change.

He had his first contact with the Noveau Cirque at the Donaufestival Krems when watching Que-Cir-Que and he was so enthusiastic, that he decided to bring this contemporary circus to Salzburg´s Volksgarten- at his own financial risk with all the obvious consequences. But the idea materialised, and 14 years on the festival has become an essential part of Salzburg´s cultural scene as well as Salzburg´s Winter.

Georg Daxner has assumed many roles throughout his live, but one constant has prevailed: to make art possible-always combined with the courage to fail.

“Art is legitimate, when it affects for the long-term, when it makes people happy, or sad, or even fills them with consternation. Because: Art is here to stay.”