Bernd Grünwald – Kaltenbach Open Air

You can read below a short interview with Bernd Grünwald, one of the persons responsible for Kaltenbach Open Air festival. You can find out more about this year edition, line-up, history of the festival and other infos from behind the scenes!

Welcome on and thanks for taking some time in order to respond to our questions! This year, KALTENBACH OPEN AIR takes place for the 8th time. What are the differences between this years edition and the previous ones?
So far the festival took place on three locations, all of them are located around Spital am Semmering in Austria, a village up in the mountains, in a region known for tourism and winter sports. After the first edition in 2003 we moved to the Kaltenbachgraben area in 2004, where the festival took place until 2008. In 2009 we had to switch to a different site, but now – after some tough negotiations – we are happy to return to the Kaltenbachgraben area.
kaltenbach open air 2010The line-ups are looking very good, with bands like Dying Fetus, Dark Funeral, Asphyx, Primordial, Shining, Holy Moses and many more playing during the three days of the festival. How may people do you expect this year?
We decided to limit the ticket contingent to 1.700 festival-passes and 300 one day-tickets per day. The reason for this restriction is that we want to keep the event rather familial, this makes the festival mood more friendly and comfortable. We are confident to welcome many metal heads from Austria and abroad, the presale is also going fine, tickets can still be ordered directly via the shop on our website.
You decided that the entry will be free on the first day of the festival (Thursday, the 15th of July 2010). Why did you take this decision?
Since 2009 Kaltenbach Open Air takes place on three days, as the festival grew in popularity during the previous years, we wanted to add a warm up party and offer more bands without raising the ticket price. So the first day is more or less an included warm up party with free entry, and the first band starts to play late in the afternoon.
Kaltenbach Open Air is taking place since 2003. Can you give me some details regarding the history of the festival? How it all began and how did it evolve during the years?
Everything started with an idea of a few metal heads, who wanted to organize a festival among nature, in their home region among the mountains and woods. We want a festival that is presented by fans for fans, with the possibility to relax and get away from the daily routine. These are the attributes that still represent the keynote of Kaltenbach Open Air until this day, and give the festival a unique atmosphere. The festival managed to establish itself as a part of the Austrian and international metal scene over the past years, and earned positive feedback from bands and visitors, who attend even from all over the world.
Is it hard to organize a metal festival in the actual conditions of the economical crisis? Is the tradition of Kaltenbach Open Air an advantage in this context?
Nowadays many things have become more difficult and more expensive, for example the band fees, technical equipment, the prices for drinks and food, and so on. But nevertheless we want to keep the prices as low as possible, luckily the tradition is an advantage, without the loyalty of many visitors Kaltenbach Open Air could not take place in the way it does.
Can you tell me, what are the main obstacles that are met in organizing/promoting a metal festival?
Luckily there aren´t many, in 2009 we had to face some complaints from abutting owners, which was the main reason why we moved to a different location. But fortunately we can always resort to people who help us in every way, so we found at last a solution which led to acceptable conditions for all parties.
Well, I wish you to have great three days in July during the festival! If you have something else to add, please do so!
Thanks for your interest and the questions, for detailed infos about the festival feel free to visit our website at

Bernd Grünwald / John Harper

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