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Because of the pandemic the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will be without audience attendance, but will connect with applause at the end. Find out how you can participate here.

The pandemic has affected many areas of our lives, and traditions such as the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra have also been affected. The concert to welcome 2021 will be held without an audience, but there will be live applause from around the world.

Apart from the public that in previous editions attended the event, it also had 40 million spectators from all over the world. This is why the emblematic concert has not been suspended.  For the applause to be included at the end of the concert, you must register via this website. Once done, you receive a link that when opened allows you to register the applause that will be broadcast in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein (Musikvereinsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna). In addition, it is also planned that some of the photos sent in by the audience will be included in the program of the New Year’s Concert.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra New Year’s Concert 2020 conducted by Andris Nelsons. © Wiener Philharmoniker / Dieter Nagl.

The concert will be conducted by Riccardo Mutti, a conductor who has already conducted this concert in 2018, 2004, 2000, 1997 and 1994.  Thus, the repertoire of the Strauss dynasty and his contemporaries can be enjoyed in more than 90 countries. The Golden Hall, as the Great Hall of the Musikverein is known, is considered a great beauty and also has one of the best acoustics in the world.

Vienna lights up for the arrival of Christmas

Apart from its traditional New Year’s concert, the Austrian capital dresses up for the Christmas festivities as usual at this time and we already told about it 5 years ago. This year more than 30 shopping streets are lit up at dusk from November through January 10. Unlike previous years, there will be no Christmas markets because of pandemic restrictions.


Vienna’s Kohlmarkt with its star shower illumination

Some of these illuminated shopping streets are the Grabenplatz with chandeliers, Habsburgergasse with wreaths, Kohlmarkt with a shower of gold or the streets of the Goldenes Quartier luxury shopping district.  Similarly, Kärntner Strasseis decorated with oval illuminations, Rotenturmstrasse with large 200-kilogram red balls.


Graben Square with its huge chandeliers

What is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic places in Vienna, the City Hall Square (Rathausplatz), features decorated trees and a big Christmas tree. Outside the city center, there are more than 30 shopping streets and neighborhoods with Christmas decorations, such as Neubaugasse, Josefstäder Strasse, Obkirchergasse, Ringstrasse, or the Seestadt Aspern neighborhood.

All images courtesy of Wiener Philharmonikery Vienna Tourismus. Authors: Dieter Nagl, Christian Stemper and Peter Rigaud.