Just in: Vienna shrinks its New Year’s audience

Just in: Vienna shrinks its New Year’s audience


norman lebrecht

December 27, 2021

The Vienna Philharmonic has been ordered to cut its audience on January 1st to 1,000. Tocket-holders who are excluded will be given priority in 2023.

Here’s the announcement:

Auf Grund der kurzfristig notwendig gewordenen Präventionsmaßnahmen sehen sich die Wiener Philharmoniker leider gezwungen, die Anzahl der BesucherInnen der Konzerte zum Jahreswechsel auf maximal 1000 (pro Konzert) zu reduzieren. Durch diese Reduktion, bei der die “2G+”-Regel zur Anwendung kommt, können alle geimpften oder genesenen Gäste unter zusätzlichem Vorweis eines gültigen PCR-Tests (Gültigkeit 48 Stunden ab Probenentnahme) und FFP2 Maske das Konzert besuchen. …

Due to necessary preventive measures which have been adopted on short notice, the Vienna Philharmonic finds itself obligated to reduce the number of persons in attendance at the New Year’s Concerts 2021/22 to a maximum of 1000 per concert. This reduction and implementation of the 2G+ rule will enable guests who are vaccinated or recovered, and, in addition, produce a PCR test (valid up to 48 hours from sample extraction) and wear a FFP2 mask, to attend the concert.

According to Daniel Froschauer, Chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, “Even though these measures create an exceptional logistical challenge and necessitate a high degree of understanding and willingness to adapt, we are glad that this year the New Year’s Concerts can once again take place with an audience in attendance. For all those concert visitors who due to this reduction cannot be present in the concert hall, seats for next year’s concerts will be reserved.”…


  • gimel says:

    “PCR test 48 hrs”

    Too long.

    The concert is on Jan 1, people celebrate the eve of, those serial new year’s eve parties in which people hop from one boozy event to another and kiss each other at midnight, is precisely the type of super spreader event that health officials fear most.

    They need to be tested negative at the door of the concert hall right before entering!

    • PHF says:

      Good luck with that.

    • Monsoon says:

      Yeah, given that they’re smart enough to require that everyone wear a FFP2 mask, I’m surprised that they couldn’t setup a tent outside the hall to conduct rapid tests before the concert.

      • Matthias says:

        Rapid tests are not nearly as precise as PCR tests, even when the PCR test is a day older. They are much more sensitive, that’s why they are preferred in Austria.
        Btw, it’s a government rule, not one by the Vienna Phil – you need a PCR test by law!

    • Tamino says:

      People, stop the hysteria.
      Act resonable.
      Omicron is like the flu.

    • anon says:

      How about dropping all this hysteria, as South Africa has done recently? The health authorities in South Africa have finally acknowledged that they cannot catch even one tenth of cases, containment is impossible, and that trying to stop Omicron would be futile, would inflict disproportionate suffering, and would be a waste of resources. Omicron is so mild that our best bet is manifestly to let it take its course among the general population quickly, whilst encouraging the vulnerable to shield (given the speed at which Omicron spreads, they would not need to shield for very long).

    • Matthias says:

      It takes one day to evaluate PCR tests, so therefore the 48 hour duration (which is a rule of the city of Vienna, btw) is already very restrictive – you literally can’t shorten it any more than that or the test result will be obsolete by the time you get it. Rapid tests are not nearly sensitive enough, which is why they aren’t used much in Austria anymore.

      Occupancy halved, vaccinated, FFP2 (N95) masks, PCR tested – the precautions are already incredibly extensive…

    • Sarabande says:

      Do you really believe that testing on the same day after a new year’s eve party will show anything? All the doctors say it needs a couple of days to develop an infection and to prove it

  • 1234musician says:

    …especially with Omikron, rapid tests are absolutely not reliable enough anymore. The sensitivity of a 48 hour old PCR test ist much higher in terms of virus load. No concert hall caring for its audience will accept rapid tests anymore. Furthermore the chance of a false positive result is much higher with rapid tests. If someone is denied attending the performance, although a PCR afterwards proves to negative – who will be paying for the ticket? PCR seems to be the safest option right now for everybody…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    What happened to the vaccine ‘miracle’??

  • Peter says:

    Since Austria has decided non-vaccinated has no place in the public life, these measures should be unnecessary.

    What is it that they don`t understand?

  • Gustavo says:

    2G+…Wiener melange

  • Piano Lover says:

    Will Barenboim be masked too ?
    Here is the wonderful program…I wish there was Bal Scene from Helmmesberger:more joyful than these minor works.
    Au programme

    Partie 1

    Josef Strauß – Phoenix Mars, opus 105
    Johann Strauß – Ailes de Phénix, Valse op.125
    Josef Strauß – La sirène, Polka mazur op.248
    Joseph Hellmesberger – Petit Anzeiger, Galop op.4
    JohannStrauß – Les feuilles du matin, Valse op.279
    EduardStrauß – Petite Chronique, Polka rapide op.128

    Partie 2

    JohannStrauß fils – Ouverture de la Chauve-Souris
    JohannStrauß fils – La Polka champagne, Musikalischer Scherz op.211
    Carl Michael Ziehrer – Les noctambules, Valse op.466
    JohannStrauß fils – Marche persane, opus 289
    JohannStrauß fils – Mille et une nuits, Valse op.346
    EduardStrauß – Salutation à Prague, Polka française, op.144
    Joseph Hellmesberger fils, Les Lutins, Charakterstück
    JosefStrauß – Les Nymphes, Polka française op.50
    JosefStrauß – La musique des sphères, Valse op.235

    Orchestre Philharmonique de Vienne
    Daniel Barenboim, direction