Last Generation Activists Disrupt Prestigious Salzburg Festival

Three Last Generation activists have disrupted the opening of one of the world’s top classical music festivals held in Austria.

The young activists from the radical climate activism organisation stunned the audience when they appeared at the Salzburg Festival’s premiere of the play ‘Jedermann’ (‘Everyman’) on Friday evening, 21st July.

A video posted on their Twitter page shows the trio – Bernhard and Stefan Kogler-Sobl, as well as Erika Goedl – popping up on stage in safety vests and spraying a part of the play’s scenery orange before shouting to raise awareness about climate change.

Shortly before getting escorted away by security, they could be heard yelling: “The climate council showed it last year.

“We are the last generation capable of preventing the point of no return. We have the solutions we need!”

Media revealed that the incident left many of the present spectators puzzled whether the activists’ act was just a part of the staging.

German actor Michael Maertens at the premiere of ‘Jedermann’ at the Salzburg Festival 2023, undated photo. Last Generation activists disrupted the opening of the festival on Friday, July 21, 2023. (SF, Matthias Horn/Newsflash)

Soon after the radical group posted the video online, and said: “What remains of a human life? Everyone has responsibilities.

“That’s why we disrupted the festival premiere. We hold up a mirror to society. Are we too lazy to save ourselves?”

They continued: “The citizens of the Last Generation Austria demand that we face this question as a whole society.

“Especially now, when global heating is getting more out of control and is making itself felt all over the world with ever more extreme temperatures and ever more destructive weather, they can no longer look away.”

Bernhard Kogler-Sobl, 33, said: “Our goal was to get on stage.”

The activist emphasised: “It is the richest who cause the most emissions. When someone is over-privileged, that comes with a responsibility. I think we got our message across.”

The protest came as swathes of southern Europe and the USA were struck by record heatwaves.

Actors Michael Maertens, Valerie Pachner and Raphael Nicholas at the premiere of ‘Jedermann’ at the Salzburg Festival 2023. Last Generation activists disrupted the opening of the festival on Friday, July 21, 2023. (SF, Matthias Horn/Newsflash)

More protests in the city of Salzburg are yet to follow, said the 33-year-old activist.

The play named ‘Jedermann. Das Spiel vom Sterben das reichen Mannes’ (‘Everyman. The play of the rich man’s death) has been performed traditionally at the Salzburg Festival since 1920.

Based on several medieval mystery plays – including the later 15-th century English morality play Everyman – it was first performed in Berlin, Germany, on 1st December 1911.


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