On a few special evenings in August, when the heat remains palpable in the air, the final station of the erstwhile Bregenzerwaldbahn railway is transformed into a stage. Lamps bathe the terrain in bright light revealing old train coaches, which for decades connected the valley with Bregenz. People, who sit on the tracks or stand at the bar, cast long shadows. The sound of laughter mixes with music played low and footsteps across the railway ballast around the tracks. In the air, the scent of rust and coal is thick.Meanwhile on the platform, musicians sit on the benches where passengers once waited, conversing and enjoying a drink.
It’s intermission a scene devoid of time and place playing out beneath the train-station clock. Soon, visitors will return to the wide, open spaces of the train depot to hear sounds that will carry them away to another place and time. “For me, music is a vehicle for travel in the mind,” says Alfred Vogel. “I can hardly imagine a more apt metaphor for this concept than an open stage at the former train station. Principally, I like train stations and this one is special. Aspects remind me of the old west.”The first Bezau Beatz took place at the village square ten years ago. This venue also had its charms says the musician, producer and event organiser and yet the train depot allows the event to be held in any weather and the location transforms proceedings into a festival where concerts and cuisine can be offered at an extra special place. DJ journeys with the steam locomotive, select Bregenzerwald specialities (“Good food is a must”), and performances by jazz greats such as US trumpet virtuoso Peter Evans, the Belgian singer Trixie Whitley, and Reggae star Wally Warning transform the once conventional concert at the village fountain into a renowned festival celebrated on the feature pages and appreciated by audiences.