The Festspiele Experience

Getting to the Theatre

People arrive at the Festspielhaus (Festival Theatre) well before the curtain – usually an hour or so before.

The park around the Festspielhaus is quite lovely and makes for pleasant strolls and picnics.

The #5 bus (Hohe Warte) provides the closest public transportation alternative. Some hotels offer bus transport for free or for a small charge.

Parking at the Theatre

Parking at the Festspielhaus is ample and free, but you will certainly want to arrive about an hour before the curtain. Parking lots can be found behind the Festspielhaus.

Comfort Factors

Since this is a summer festival, most people dress for the occasion. At least half wear evening clothes with the occasional white tie and tails; others wear suits with ties or sport coats with ties and pretty dresses or pants suits. No matter what one wears, the key is comfort.

The Festspielhaus is not air conditioned, and the theatre doors are closed during the intervals. There is a chilled air blower which comes on during interval. However, the theatre can become warmer as the night progresses. The weather can be hot or cool and/or rainy, so you need to plan accordingly and check the weather prior to leaving home.

Theatre Seating

There are 4 main seating areas in the Festspielhaus:

  1. Parkett – Stalls.
  2. Loge – Boxes.
  3. Balkon – Balcony.
  4. Galerie – Gallery.

The seats in the Parkett have no arms and are not particularly well padded, nor are the seat backs. Most people, therefore, bring thin cushions – not thick ones, please, that obstruct the view of those behind you. Some hotels supply comfortable cushions, so you may want to ask if they provide this service when you make your hotel reservations.

There are a limited number of cushions available for hire at the Festspielhaus cloak room.

The seats in the Balkon and the Loge are padded and quite comfortable.

Theatre Etiquette

Fifteen minutes prior to the curtain, a brass ensemble arrives on the balcony and signals the time with a fanfare taken from the act to follow. Five minutes later, the brass repeats the fanfare twice; and at five minutes prior to the curtain, the ensemble plays the theme three times. For Das Rheingold, there is only the single set of fanfares, as there is no intermission.

After the doors are locked, no one will be admitted. If you’re late, you’re out of luck.

The audience is among the best behaved in the world – no applause during the performance or until the house is completely dark and the last note has drifted into the stratosphere. There are no surtitles, so come prepared.

Bookshop with Festival Artists Signing

During the Festival the centrally located Markgrafen bookshop displays a timetable of the artists who attend for photos and signing. Early arrival on the set “Signierstunde” days is advised as there is always a queue.

Markgrafen Buchhandlung
Book Shop Address:
Opernstraße 1-3, 95444
Bayreuth, Germany
Phone: +49 921 63009


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