Ever since 2016, the Forward Festival has captured the hearts and minds of creatives, artists, and designers from around the world. Held annually at the iconic Gartenbaukino, this event has become a cultural phenomenon, celebrating the power of creativity and fostering meaningful connections within the creative community. Let’s dive into the rich history of the Forward Festival and the Gartenbaukino.


A Legendary Venue:

Located in the heart of Vienna, Austria, the Gartenbaukino has a storied history dating back to its opening in 1960. This architectural masterpiece is a testament to mid-century modern design and has retained its charm and elegance over the years. With its spacious auditorium and state-of-the-art projection facilities, the Gartenbaukino has become a revered venue for film screenings, art exhibitions, and cultural events.





Forward Festival:

The Forward Festival was conceived as a platform to bring together creative minds and spark inspiration across various disciplines. The festival founder, Othmar Handl envisioned a space where artists, designers, creatives, and entrepreneurs could converge, exchange ideas, and push the boundaries of creativity.

Over the years, the Forward Festival has grown exponentially, attracting renowned speakers such as Stefan Sagmeister, Erik Kessels, and Paula Scher. Each edition is carefully curated to explore emerging trends, disruptive technologies, and societal challenges that impact the creative industries. Attendees immerse themselves in a multidisciplinary experience, gaining fresh insights and forging connections that transcend borders and disciplines.


While the Gartenbaukino remains the festival’s home, the Forward Festival has expanded its reach to other cities. This expansion has allowed even more creative minds to benefit from the festival’s unique blend of inspiration, education, and networking.

As the Forward Festival continues to evolve, one thing remains constant—the Gartenbaukino will always hold a special place in its history. The iconic venue’s timeless beauty and its commitment to supporting the arts have provided the perfect backdrop for this celebration of creativity. With each passing year, the Forward Festival and the Gartenbaukino will continue to inspire and nurture the creative spirit, setting the stage for even greater achievements in the years to come.



The Forward Festival and the Gartenbaukino have forged an inseparable bond over the past seven years. Their partnership has created an annual spectacle of creativity, bringing together creatives and designers from around the world. As we look forward to the future, we can only anticipate the remarkable impact this partnership will continue to have on the creative community, inspiring generations to come.


Image Credits: © Niklas Schnaubelt, Gartenbaukino