Bayreuth Festival 2020


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Bayreuth Festival Tickets

Inspired by the 19th-century composer, Richard Wagner, the Bayreuth Festival is an annual display of world-class opera and classical music. Performances take place at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany where more than 62,000 guests visit and enjoy the festival. The festival runs from July to August with sell-out performances each year. Secure your Bayreuth Festival Tickets for this year’s events!  


Official Name

Bayreuther Festspiele (German)


Bayreuth, Germany

Grand Opening

August 13, 1876


Gottfried Semper







About Bayreuth Festival

The Bayreuth Festival is an annual event at a dedicated theatre created by Richard Wagner in the 1870s. Each year, sold-out performances attract an audience of more than 62,000 people from around the world.

Bayreuth Festival History

The inspiration for the Bayreuth Festival is rooted in Richard Wagner’s desire to become a financially independent composer. When relations with his patron, Ludwig II of Bavaria, fell apart, this led to Wagner’s expulsion from Munich. 


Wagner considered creating the festival in Nuremberg using the thematic style of his works such as Die Meistersinger. However, advice from Hans Richter led to Bayreuth being the most advantageous location for three reasons. 


  1. The town of Bayreuth had a stunning venue: the Markgräfliches Opernhaus. This historic opera house was built for Margrave Frederick and his wife, Friedrick Sophie Wilhelmine, who was the sister of Frederick the Great, in 1774.

  2. Wagner sold the rights to his works in 1864 to alleviate the financial pressures he was having. However, the town of Bayreuth was located outside of the region where Wagner didn’t own rights to his works, making it possible to use his pieces for financial gain.

  3. There was no competition or cultural influence that could interfere with Wagner’s artistic style and dominance. Opening the festival in Bayreuth gave it a distinct competitive advantage at a time when classical music and opera were in popular demand.

Unfortunately, when Wagner inspected Bayreuth to bring his vision for the festival to life, he was disappointed by the inadequate opera house available. Wagner required an opera house capable of accommodating his complex staging and large orchestras. 


After establishing numerous Wagner Societies in places like Leipzig, Berlin, and Vienna, Wagner slowly accumulated the money needed to start the festival. It took almost 6 years before Wagner obtained enough funds the construct the opera house suitable for his works. 


The Bayreuth Festival’s inauguration took place on August 13, 1876, with a performance of Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony. This performance has been the tradition played at the opened ever since and the festival itself has become a socio-cultural phenomenon. 

Bayreuth Before & After WWII

The city of Bayreuth endured significant bombings when Americans fought off the Nazis during the end of the war. Fortunately, the opera house was undamaged. 


After the war, Winifred Wagner was convicted of supporting the Nazi party and sentenced to probation. The court banned her from the administration of the Bayreuth Festival as well as its assets. Her two sons, Wolfgang and Wieland, took over the administration of the festival. 


When the Americans were occupying the region, the opera house was used to provide recreation and religious services for American soldiers. Performances involved comedy, dancing, and acrobatics.


The Festival House was returned to the city of Bayreuth in 1946 however the festival wasn’t reopened until 1951. When the festival finally reopened, they once again performed Beethoven’s Symphony, in celebration of its origins and tribute to Wagner. 

Bayreuth Festival Popularity

In recent years, the artistically creative and impressive performances at the Bayreuth Festival attracts tens of thousands of people from across the globe. Bayreuth Festival tickets often sell out fast and it is advised to get tickets well in advance to secure seating. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this historic festival. Book your Bayreuth Festival tickets online with Ticket Finder’s secure booking system and 100% guarantee.