Every July the city of Linz opens its streets to over 100 ensembles and solo performers from more than 30 nations

There are many things I could write about my adopted home of Linz but one special event in summer made a huge impression on me when I moved to the city from the Czech Republic five years ago.

I am a paramedic and had just started my new job at hospital in Linz in July of 2013. I hadn’t yet had time to make friends but I’d heard about an international street performance festival called Pflasterspektakel that was taking place in the city in the following week. It seemed as good a way as any to meet new people and get to know my new home.

I have to admit that I was pretty sceptical about the claimed number of 1000 performers coming to Linz to showcase their talents. It sounded brilliant, but I wasn’t buying it until I saw it so on the first day of the festival I took a tram into the city centre.

I am a passionate guitar player so I decided to seek out some of my fellow players who had come from around the world. My first impression? I was staggered by the talent and skill of the street players I heard. All that passion and focus in one place – I was more than amazed to see it gathered in a place like Linz. I eventually bought a CD from an artist from the Netherlands which I listen to almost every day!

My festival enthusiasm didn’t stop at the guitar players, however. There was a guy from Argentina that juggled with five footballs at the same time! For a minute I thought I was dreaming. He had so much energy and constantly wanted us to cheer for him. The whole crowd went crazy for his tricks and freestyle moves.

There were all sorts of performers around the city and I kept moving in order to see more. I was surprised to see a very unusual band with a big crowd around them. It turned out they were from a town in Germany and they performed in Linz almost every year. People were crazy about them and it took me only a few songs to realise why. Some of the band members played three different instruments during the songs and they were magnificent!

For me, the most impressive act I saw was a pair of acrobats from France. I have never seen such strength and ability to control your own body. Their act consisted of various almost impossible positions to make by using their muscles. When they finished their show the crowd cheered for more and I joined in because the performance was incredible!

If you’re going to be in Linz in the middle of July, don’t miss this phenomenal festival. It is truly inspirational and I now attend every year without fail. There are always new performers to discover and after all, life is nothing without making beautiful memories.

By Marek
I am a paramedic from the Czech Republic and have been living in Linz for five years. I love playing guitar and reading crime novels. I have been training to run a marathon lately and I really hope that I will make the distance. Wish me luck!