I saw that I will be coming to Vienna during the opening weekend of the Vienna Festival 2016 May 13- June 19. I have looked online and saw that there are shows associated with the festival. What should I expect? What other type of activities are associated with the festival? Is it the same thing that Rick Steves went to during his Vienna and Danube episode with the outdoor opera and food stands where the young locals go to mingle?
Actually, the outdoor simulcasts have nothing to do with the Vienna Festival. They are April though June.
Here is the schedule:
I think you are talking about the Festwochen? At least the dates match . . .
The Festwochen is very international, quite a few 'avant garde' performances. And it's music, theater, dance and so forth. The events are held at several venues around the city and most are ticket events. The opening event this year looks really good with a modern folk, klezmer, and puppets. That will be outside at the Rathaus and it's free. But it will be crowded!
The summer event with food stands and big screens is the summer film festival at the Rathaus. That starts in July.
Those shows are always free and are lots more than just opera. It's a very diverse program. (I saw a wonderful archive film of a Marvin Gaye concert in Berlin there a couple years back.) This year's program is here:
I didn't see the RS TV show but I am betting that the Sommerkino event is what was shown. The simulcasts at the Staatsoper don't have lots (any?) food stands. And it's mostly tourists, not 'young locals' ;-)