Notable tributes and newcomers make this year a salute to musical innovators then and now.

June in Vienna just wouldn’t feel the same without thousands flocking to the Donauinsel, the city’s cherished recreational island, for Europe’s biggest annual open-air event. Sponsored by the city’s ruling party the Social Democrats, the festival beckons with free admission and eight stages featuring acts from an array of genres – not counting venerable comedy gigs, sports and culinary attractions.

The international headliner this year is Swedish rock-pop favorites Mando Diao, whose new album Good Times recaptures the animated spirit of their breakthrough 2008 single “Dance with Somebody.” Going into its 34th year, the Donauinselfest also takes a nostalgic glance at the past with a series of tribute concerts: Austrian pop god Falco will be celebrated, amongst others, by German hip-hop trio Fettes Brot and recent Amadeus-Award winner Julian le Play, who will both share the stage with Falco’s original band. Grande dame of jazz Marianne Mendt will commemorate jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday, and “King of Cool” Dean Martin will be channeled by none other than local hero Roman Gregory, front man of Meidling’s finest, the hardrock group Alkbottle.

In line with their motto Meine Stadt. Mein Fest (“My city. My party.”), the Donauinselfest will likewise continue promoting homegrown up-and-comers, including Austropop duo Ois & Nix and crossover formation Symbiotika’s blend of rock and hip-hop. An eclectic fusion of gypsy and flamenco rhythms distinguishes the Barcelona Gypsy -balKan Orchestra, while pop enthusiasts will be treated to ballads by American Michael Bolton and Amy MacDonald. Those well-versed in German can enjoy the witty lyrics of ten headed Munich urban brass band Moop Mama. Don’t miss it!

Jun 23-25, Donauinsel. donauinselfest.at