Artists use the human body as a canvas during the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria. The World Bodypainting Festival is a potpourri of bodypainting, shows and music. The whole festival week starting from July 24th offers a cumulative program with workshops, art exhibition, the zombie walk and the surreal ball Body Circus.
46 wonderful and experienced artists of 20 world-wide nations share their precious knowledge in over 50 workshops. You can choose between bodypainting, airbrush bodypainting, facepainting, make up, special effects and photography. Thanks to the varied program you get the chance either to try out your newly discovered creative side or to deepen your knowledge.
The festival was first created and launched in 1998 in Seeboden, Austria as the European Bodypainting Festival in order to promote summer tourism to the region by then tourism manager Alex Barendregt. It was a small gathering of artists and the first “boutique event” of its kind in the world. Also launched in conjunction was the WB Academy, which in 2008 was offered worldwide. As the Bodypainting Movement was growing, in 2001 Mr. Barendregt launched the WB Association followed by the launch of the WB Production in 2010.
Due to the increasing attendance of international artists and supporters to the festival, in 2004 the festival was renamed to “The World Bodypainting Festival” and in 2011 Mr. Barendregt left his position at the tourist office and moved the festival to its new home in Pörtschach, Austria on lake Wörthersee.
Today it is the biggest annual event in the bodypainting culture, community and industry at large. It has become the “Center of Bodypainting” and “Home” to many. Combined with Mr. Barendregt’s efforts, the WB Association, WB Production and the WB Academy are considered and responsible for providing a worldwide platform and introduction into the Art of Bodypainting.
The WBF is held during the summer months of June/July. It attracts artists from 50 nations and attracts 30.000 plus spectators. It consists of a pre-week followed by 3 main days of the festival/competition. The pre-week consists of workshops and side events.
The workshops offer many educational programs and lessons by leading artists in brush & sponge, airbrush, special effects, beauty make-up, head dressing including colour theory and history. All workshops are run and handled under the WB Academy and are also scheduled throughout the year in various cities worldwide. Side events include parties such as the Surreal Costume Ball (Body Circus) and the newly added (Zombie Crawl) with international DJs and musical stage performances. Also included are exhibitions, gatherings, meeting points and industry discussions.
The three main days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday are open to the general public in a park also known as “Bodypaint City” where the World, Special and Amateur Awards are held. The festival is open to both adults and children and is considered a family-friendly environment. Spectators and visitors alike are able to step “into the surreal” filled with a unique world of art that excites the senses and the imagination. Visitors can also take part and express themselves in various activities throughout Bodypaint City.
Artists compete on all three days with a given theme in the categories of brush & sponge, airbrush and special effects for the World Champion Award & title announced on Sunday with the special UV bodypainting World Champion Fluoro Award held and announced on Friday night. Also included is the World Facepainting Award, Armature Award, Installation Award, Special Effects Face Make-up, Make-up Battle Award and the Photo Award. All categories have separate prizes and trophies. Artists can use either male or female models. The festival is open for both adults and children, and many families come there together.The three main days of the festival also plays host to a VIP area, a bodypainting manufacture & suppliers’ market, fashion & crafts market, food & beverage vendors, headline stage bands, performers and international DJs throughout various musical zones of Bodypaint City as well as the sun drenched pristine waters and beaches of lake Wörthersee. “There is something for everyone” including the closing Paint Party.
More than 60 bands and DJs play during the main days of the festival