The Wiener Festwochen were established in 1951. Emerging as a "demonstration of Austria's will to survive", the festival was to prove to the world that a city marked by the ravages of war and its aftermath was able to engage in cultural activities.
Undoubtedly, the Wiener Festwochen today serve a different function and fulfill other tasks. Vienna has become an undisputed cultural metropolis, and the Festwochen have evolved into an innovative, international event. Yet this is precisely why the Wiener Festwochen cannot tolerate stagnation. Proven approaches may lose their significance in the face of a changing co-ordinate system of international relationships and traditions. Thus, it is an objective of the festival to search for new aspects, to inspire discussions of current artistic production, and to provide an answer to - not only artistic - developments.