Austrian Music Highlights: January 2024

Remember when a year like “2024” was the stuff of science fiction? Well, we’re here now…and though we’re STILL waiting on those hoverboards, the music in this brave new year is every bit as international, varied, and forward-looking as we could have hoped. Need proof? Look no further, dear reader: it’s your Austrian Music Highlights for the frigid month of January.


Yes, festivals. You might not think of midwinter as the season for that sort of thing, but with the holiday season behind us, the music scene is starting the new year big….


Photo of Bex (c) Marko Mestrovic

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS to the in-crowd) is both Europe’s first showcase festival of the calendar year and one of the biggest. The Austrian music scene has made a splash in recent years, and it’s sending some of its best and brightest this year as well: ARAI, BEX, Kimyan Law, Oskar Haag, Sharktank, and Viji will be representing the Alpine Republic this week in Groningen. Knock ’em dead!

(Photo © Marko Mestrovic)

3 Days of Jazz

3 Tage Jazz banner

We’re going to bypass the painfully obvious “cold weather/hot music” puns, here. Jazzfestival Saalfelden’s wintry little sister, 3 Days of Jazz, is similar to the summer festival, featuring a mix of international and domestic artists. This year, the home crew includes the acoustic hard-rock cover band Acöustic Frönt, pianist Simon Raab, Flora Geisselbrecht & Paul Schuberth, and Haezz, the trio consisting of Tobias Vedovelli, Martin Eberle, and Stepan Flagar.

Looking Ahead: Austrian Artists at MENT

Banner MENT 2024

It’s not happening until late February, but huzzah! The MENT Festival in Ljubljana, has announced its final round of artists for this year – and three Austrian acts are on board: BEX (who is clearly not wasting any time), the young electropop trio oh alien, and the eclectic duo ELIS NOA. For more info see the article.

On the road

January/February is a good time of year to get away for a few days, if you can. We’re a little confused, since most of the acts touring in the next few weeks seem to heading north…but hey, tastes differ.

First off: the Vienna-based collective laschulas (Angélica Castelló, Natalia Domínguez Rangel, Lorena Moreno Vera, and Lucía Simón Medina) creates group compositions/sound installations that blur the lines between music, visual art, and research. Their four-channel sound installation “Of Breath and Sound” can currently be experienced at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts, and will be a part of the upcoming Sonic Acts Biennal in Amsterdam, from February 2 – March 24th.

(Photo courtesy of the artists)

Photo of laschulas collective (c) laschulas

And in more conventional touring news…

Bipolar Feminin is starting the year off big, cutting a wide swath through Germany at the end of January/beginning of February:

  • Alte Mälzerei, Regensburg, Jan. 30
  • Manufaktur, Schorndorf, Jan. 31
  • Pierre Grasse, Halle, Feb. 1
  • Schon Schön, Mainz, Feb. 2
  • Die Börse, Wuppertal, Feb. 3
  • Privatclub, Berlin, Feb. 6
Video: Bipolar Feminin – Herr Arne

And CULK will be hot on their heels, bringing their own brand of jaded-but-not-hopeless indie rock to Germany. They’ll be promoting their new record, Generation Maximum, at the following venues:

  • Milla, Munich, Feb. 2
  • Merlin, Stuttgart, Feb. 3
  • Bumann & Sohn, Cologne, Feb. 5
  • Hafenklang, Hamburg, Feb. 6
  • Urban Spree, Berlin, Feb. 7
  • Centralstation, Darmstadt, Feb. 8
  • Trafo, Jena, Feb. 9
  • Alte Kaserne, Landshut, Feb. 10
Video: CULK – “Eisenkleid”

Oskar Haag will be hitting first Germany, then Switzerland after his ESNS debut in Groningen this week…

  • ZAKK, Düsseldorf, Jan 22
  • Pension Schmidt, Münster, Jan. 23
  • Haldern Pop Festival, Haldern, Jan. 24
  • Schon Schön, Mainz, Jan. 27
  • Ponyhof, Frankfurt, Jan. 31
  • X-Tra, Zurich, Feb. 6
  • Sudhaus, Basel, Feb. 7
  • Grabenhalle, St. Gallen, Feb. 8
  • Im Wizemann, Stuttgart, Feb. 9
Video: Oskar Haag – “Sharpen The Knives”

And finally, Manu Delago will be traveling even further north to the UK, accompanied by the vocal trio Mad About Lemon. They’ll be promoting their album Snow From Yesterday, dropping February 2nd.

  • Upper Chapel, Sheffield, Feb. 8
  • Metronome, Nottingham, Feb. 9
  • Philharmonic Music Room, Liverpool, Feb. 10
  • Beacon, Bristol, Feb. 11
  • Round Chapel, London, Feb. 13
Video: Manu Delago feat. Mad About Lemon – “Paintings on the Wall”

Hit the Road with Export and the musikfonds

One final note before we hunker down in front of the space heater again. The Austrian Music Fund teased a new subsidy program in November, when the Ministry of Culture announced a major financial boost for the Austrian music business, and now it’s here: the Impulse Program is open for business! Briefly, it’s designed to support Austrian musicians as they enter new markets – on short notice and via an uncomplicated application process. For more information, see our article…and bon voyage!

That’ll do it for this month. Keep reading, keep listening…and keep warm!Philip Yaeger