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BIG BRASS IN THE ALPS - Jane Peel, Schladming
Friday July 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Schladming is hosting one of the biggest brass music festivals in Europe and PlanetSKI is in resort.

In July every year for the past 20, the Austrian ski own has opened its streets to brass bands and orchestras from all over the world performing everything from classical to pop to swing to ska.

For some reason, the festival is called Mid Europe.

Perhaps it's because that's where Austria is and no-one could think of a better name.

I have turned up in Schladming as the six-day event is in full swing.

It's culturally a huge contrast to learning to milk a cow and sawing logs, which I've also been doing while here.   See how I fared as I went for my Farm Diploma:

This year the music festival has attracted 2,500 musicians and big crowds of spectators for a series of free outdoor performances.

Schladming Schladming is buzzing
















None of the musicians are paid.

They come because they love it, but that doesn't mean they're a bunch of tuneless amateurs.

Far from it.

The first I knew of it was shortly after checking in the Hotel Kirchenwirt, in the centre of Schladming.

The back of one of the five open air sound stages is just outside the hotel and this was the sound I recorded from my third-floor window....


There are small brass and woodwind ensembles, some with vocalists doing passable impressions of Joe Cocker and Amy Winehouse, and big orchestras.

They've come from as far away as Australia, South Africa, America and Asia.

Schladming international music festivalZhong Zheng Junior High School Symposium, Taipei
















Some haven't had to travel quite as far to be here.

The lederhosen are a bit of a giveaway.

LederhosenAnd where are you from?
















It definitely proved worth braving the crowds for an al fresco dinner when this was the entertainment....


I found the whole thing hugely enjoying and inspiring.

That is I did until I realised that day three of the festival was also being referred to as The Long Night Of Music.

It should more accurately have been called The Long Night-Into-The-Early-Hours-Of-The Morning Of Music.

Oh yes.

Hotel KirchenwirtHotel Kirchenwirt
















Remember that third floor hotel room in a prime central location?


My enthusiasm had begun to wane a little by the time the music stopped at 1am.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend a visit when the festival comes around again.

I also recommend that you choose your accommodation wisely.

The next Mid Europe Festival will be held in Schladming from 10th to 15th July 2018.

Read our report on Schladming, its mountains, lakes and waterfalls as we explore one of the most water-rich regions in the Alps:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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