Welcome to Linz - Austria and to the 168th edition of the Forum Song Contest (FSC).
Theme: ‘Modern Austria: Looking into the Future’
Winner FSC January 2023
The Host city for this FSC #168-edition is Linz - Austria. It is the capital of Upper Austria and the
third-largest city in Austria . In the north of the country , it is situated on the Danube (Donau) river
30km south of the Czech border . In 2018 the population was ca 205.000. The Danube river , 2nd
-longest river in Europe , is the main tourism and transport connection that runs through the city.
Linz is in the centre of Europe, lying on the Paris–Budapest west–east axis and the Malmö–Tries
te north–south axis. Approximately 29% of the city's 96 km2 widearea is grassland. A further 18%
are covered with forest. All the rest areas fall on water (6%), traffic areas, and land. The city is divi
ded into 16 districts . The largest are Innere Stadt ( ca 25.000 inhabitants ) & Urfahr ( ca 24.000 ).
The urban area includes (parts of) 13 other municipalities with together 271.000 inhabitants Linz
is also part of the LinzWels-Steyr metropolitan area of Upper Austria home to around one third of
the state's population (460.000 people) & the second-largest urban area in Austria. The city has a
high rate of daily commuting from the surrounding communities due to the set availability of jobs
The city was founded by the Romans who called it Lentia. The name Linz was 1st recorded in AD
799 . It was a provincial , and local government city of the Holy Roman Empire , and an important
trading point connecting several routes on either side of the Danube river , from east to west and
Bohemia (part of currently Czech Rep.) & Poland from north to the Balkans and Italy to the south.
Being the city where the Habsburg Emperor Friedrich III spent his last years, it was, for a short pe
riod of time , the most important city in the empire . It lost its status to Vienna, & Prague after the
death of the Emperor in 1493. An important city-inhabitant was the Age of Discovery-era astrono
mer/mathematician Johannes Kepler, who spent several years in the city teaching mathematics.
On 15th May 1618 Kepler discovered the distance-cubed-over-time-squared—or "third"—law of pl
anetary motion . The local public university, Johannes Kepler University Linz , is named after him
Another noted citizen was Anton Bruckner, who spent the years between 1855 and 1868 working
as a local composer & organist in the Old Cathedral , Linz. The Brucknerhaus is named after him.
The coat of arms of Linz developed from the seal image , which was used as emblem since 1242
It showed the open city gate flanked by two crenellated (having battlements) towers on rocky gro
und . From 1288 , the gate was shown standing on water . The coat of arms shows a red plate on
which stands a castle with twin towers . Those towers are crowned with 3 crenellations, or walls.
The towers include an open door; & above the door the red-white-red shield of Austria is attached
The gate and towers symbolise the medieval fortified city , as it was during the Middle Ages. The
wavy bars indicate the important position , and geographical location of the city near the Danube
river. The Austrian shield is a reference to the former territorial city, and its historical significance.
‘Modern Austria: Looking into the Future’
‘The Ars Electronica Center in Linz’
The Austria of today is looking into the future . Be it a future with artificial intelligence (IA) , robots
and with many technological developments both in industry and in society in general. Ongoing res
earch opens doors to the future and what may be, what may come and the opportunities that may
arise. This is all exemplified by the valuable work done at the Ars Electronica Center (AEC) in Linz.
The AEC together with the Futurelab (a multidisciplinary media arts R&D facility) , opened in 1996,
and was remodeled and enlarged in 2009 . It has several museum exchibits. The top of the AEC is
called the Sky Media Loft, which is mainly used as a coffee house or bar of the museum. The first
floor has displays about the world that had been hidden from our eyes. In the "Hidden Worlds" var
ious machines are translating voice and words into virtual (that is, simulated) symbols or colours.
In the little room between the first and the ground floor one of the main attractions is offered. The
flight simulator 'Humphrey' uses virtual reality goggles to give users a simulated view of the flight
and the person taking the trip is connected to the computer by cables fixed all over the body . It is
possible to fly everywhere and to see the movements of hands, feet, and landscape when looking.
The entrance or the so-called "Login Gateway" of the museum is on the ground floor and leads the
newcomer directly to the Telegarden , where a robot is looking after a flower patch . Every ticket is
provided with a bar code , that gives information about the time the visitor entered in the museum.
After the visit , the ticket can be put into a computer near the exit and it gives statistic information
about the things that happened in the world , during the span of the stay in the Electronica Center.
The last floor is called Virtual Reality & it can be found in the basement of the building . The CAVE
is another attraction of the museum. The cube with 3 meters side length is used as a screen to pr
oject the virtual world . There are always groups of about 10 that dive into a world where physical
laws do not have any meaning . The 3D spectacles give the impression of a bodyful environment.
The Main Gallery with about 1000 square meters, houses the main exchibition called ‘New Views
of Humankind’ which focuses on topics like biotechnology, robotics, rapid prototyping and the hu
man body. Life sciences, global developments (e.g. climate change, population growth, environm
ental pollution) and the exploration of the universe are just a few of various new topics that were
added in 2009 when the center was re-constructed after a lengthy building/construction process
Linz has an oceanic climate ( Köppen climate classification: Cfb ) or, following the 0 °C isotherm,
a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers & quite cold winters. Because Linz is also
continental influenced it does snow there and even has sometimes a snow cover without melting
for at least a week or more as temperatures in the month of January (mostly) stay below freezing
The city is one of the main economic centres of Austria. Voestalpine is a large technology and ca
pital goods group (founded as the "Hermann-Göring-Werke" during WW2), which is known for the
LD- (" Linz-Donawitz ") procedure for the production of steel. The former " Chemie Linz " chemical
group has been split up, in many companies . They made Linz into an economic centre in Austria.
Furthermore , due to the fact that one of the four Donau-Harbors (Donauhäfen) in Austria is locat
ed in Linz, it constitutes an attractive location in regards to logistic and trading enterprises. None
theless, manufacturing plants can f.ex. be found at the waterfront as well . The economic import
ance of Linz was founded over centuries in trade , and , industrially, as a result of WW2 build-ups.
Linz serves as an important transport hub for the region of both Upper Austria and, to a lesser de
gree, southern Bohemia. Linz Airport lies about 14km southwest of the town centre. The city also
has a central railway station on Austria's main rail axis, the West railway, linking Vienna with west
ern Austria, Germany & Switzerland. There are too varying types of river transport (trade/tourism)
The historic centre of the city has a medieval architectural style, whereas other parts have neocla
ssical, neo-baroque and neo-renaissance styles. The residential area called Gugl became a well li
ked living area among the wealthy at around 1900 which is why there are numerous villas still the
re today. Amongst the newer buildings is Linz Hauptbahnhof & the Wissensturm (tower-building).
Culturally, the city is now home to a vibrant music and arts scene that is well-funded by the city &
the state of Upper Austria . Between Lentos Art Museum and the "Brucknerhaus", is the "Donaulä
nde" or "Kulturmeile" ("culture mile") , a park alongside the river, which is also used for the Ars Ele
ctronica Festival in early September, and also the " Stream Festival " , which takes place annually.
There are 11 farmer's markets + a weekly flea market and two Christmas markets in Linz . One of
these markets , the "Urfahraner Markt", takes place in spring and fall every year. There are also an
nual Christmas and New Year's Markets . There are also lots of shopping opportunities in the city
for tourists incl. 13 malls. Restaurants, cafes, hotels as well with moderns amenities and service.
City sights include the main square, main street (Landstrasse), the Old Town Hall, the Feichtinger
House, the Kirchmayr House , St. Mary’s Cathedral, Mozarthouse, Pöstlingberg-Kirche, Pöstlingbe
rgbahn (a mountain rail) , Linzer Landestheater, Linz port, BORG Linz music school. City Museum
Nordico, Upper Austrian Regional Museum, and also the Höhenrausch Museum which is popular.
The Host venue for FSC #168 February 2023, is: the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria. It has
3000 square meters for exchibitions , 100 m2 for research and development, 400 m2 for worksho
ps and conferences , 650 m2 for catering , and another 1000 m2 of public space for various types
of events . Ars Electronica's activities focus on the interlinkages between art , technology and soc
iety . It runs an annual festival and also confers the ' Prix Ars Electronica awards '. Watch artificial
intelligence “think” , enjoy audiovisual projections, train self-driving cars, program robots, 3D print
and much more! The topics in the Ars Electronica Center range from artificial intelligence and ne-
uro-bionics , autonomous systems and robotics, through genetic and biotechnology to the far-rea
ching global changes of our time . Exciting exchibitions and events await you ! For additional info
check the ' mid-section . They are proud to host this evening’s edition of the Forum Song contest.
Our wonderful Hosts this evening are:
Paul Pizzera , W1ze and Lylit
Paul Pizzera is an Austrian musician, comedy/cabaret artist and author. Together with Otto Jaus
he forms the duo Pizzera & Jaus , for which he writes and composes songs . He is multi-talented
& creative. Paul Pizzera is very proud to co-host this evening’s edition of the Forum Song Contest
W1ze is, according to many critics, one of the most colourful and promising new artists to hit the
Vienna music scene for many reasons , not the least the voice , and the non-conformist message
in songs & texts . W1ze is very proud to co-host this evening’s edition of the Forum Song Contest
Lylit , or Eva Klampfer which is her name, is by several critics considered one of the greatest soul
singers in Austria. She has had a music career as a singer and is also an accomplished songwrit
er and performer . Lylit is very proud to co-host this evening’s edition of the Forum Song Contest.