Fest der Freude


On 8 May 2019 at 7:30 p.m., Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ) will host the Festival of Joy for the seventh time with a concert by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on the Heldenplatz in Vienna. The festival commemorates the victims of the Nazi regime and the joy of the 74th anniversary of liberation from the Nazi reign of terror. In 2019, the Festival of Joy will be dedicated not only to the Day of Liberation but also to the main themes of Europe and human rights. The highlight of the ceremony will be an address by eyewitness and concentration camp survivor Shaul Spielmann.
The festival will start with a greeting by MKÖ Chairman Willi Mernyi and the words of Austrian President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen.
The Wiener Symphoniker (Vienna Symphony Orchestra), in 2019 with Finnish conductor Eva Ollikainen and star violinist Pekka Kuusisto, will once again perform a free open-air concert. As in previous years, the Festival of Joy will conclude with the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which Conchita will sing together with the audience. Katharina Stemberger will moderate the event.
Statements by ambassadors of the liberating nations and by representatives from Europe, the Jewish Community, the organization “Gedenkdienst” [memorial service] and the Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance will open the Festival of Joy.
In the past six years, more than 58,000 visitors to the Festival of Joy have sent a strong message for the establishment of a worthy commemoration on 8 May as the Day of Liberation. ORF III (Austrian Broadcasting System) will broadcast the Festival of Joy live.

Program details

Wiener Symphoniker

Cultural ambassador

Program 2019

Everything at a glance
MKÖ/Sebastian Philipp
Zeitzeuge Rudolf Gelbard
Tag der Befreiung

Über 58.000 BesucherInnen beim Fest der Freude!

Heldenplatz klein


Highly symbolic square


Mauthausen Committee Austria

The Mauthausen Committee Austria (MKÖ) has organised the Festival of Joy since 2013 to celebrate the day of liberation.


Visitor information

The concert begins at 7.30 PM and is planned to end at around 9.30 PM.

The 8 May

End of II World War

May 8th is the date of the unconditional capitulation of the German Wehrmacht and the official end of World War Two in Europe.

Further dates

Other dates for your calendar

The Mauthausen Committee Austria – in cooperation with partners – will be organising more than 90 international memorial and liberation events around 8th May.