European Stone Festival should be back next year

European Stone Festival 2023
European Stone Festival
The European Stone Festival should return next year to Salzburg, Austria.

The European Stone Festival, which has been on hold since the cancellation of the Freiburg event in Germany in 2020 due to Covid, intends to return next year (2023) to Salzburg, Austria.

The Festival was instigated by the stonemasonry college in Frieburg in 1999 and is run by the college each year in conjunction with the authorities of cities around Europe. It has grown in popularity as it has developed and wherever it goes always attracts crowds. These days the cities involved often run other attractions in conjunction with the Festival, making the event even more of an attraction.

It has come to the UK twice so far – Canterbury in 2003 and Lincoln in 2012 – and was due to be back in Britain this year (2022) at the spectacularly renovated Piece Hall in Halifax, Yorkshire, but, again, has been cancelled because of Covid, although the organisers say it will now come to Halifax in 2026.

Wherever the Festival is held it normally attracts well over 100 stonemasons and carvers from around the world, including the UK – and competitors from the UK have won both the overall and apprentice categories on several occasions.

Covid might, of course, mutate again and lead to the cancellation of future Festivals but presuming it doesn't, the next will be in Salzburg next year at a date not yet finalised. The plan is for it then to be in Kiskunfélegyháza, Hungary, in 2024 and Freiburg in 2025 before its return to England.

You can keep up to date with developments about the European Stone Festival on its website at

Alex Wenham

English stonemason Alex Wenham competing in Salzburg when the European Stone Festival was held there in 2016. He won first prize in the Master Masons category. It was his third win at a European Stone Festival (he had won in Lincoln in 2013 and Freiburg in 2014).