It’s not served, it’s being cleaned up on the main square of Leoben, after three days full of adrenaline, many donations for sick children from all over Austria and three days of a state of emergency – also for those who live on and around the main square. Because the living room of the people of Leoben had many guests from Friday to Sunday. Tens of thousands to be exact.
And the living room will be tidied up this Monday morning. The large main stage on the southern main square is getting smaller and smaller. Heli Wagner and the Herzkraft crew dismantle the technical equipment. Mike Reiter is sitting on a plinth on the main square, talking on the phone. Andy Bäuchl, his colleague in the IRFC organization team, is a few meters away at a meeting, while the third in the group, Philipp Maier, scurries across the main square. Flora Adelmann and Fritz Strba make the five-strong organizational team perfect.
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“It was unbelievable. I’m euphoric, but also tired. But that doesn’t count, what’s important is that so much money has already been raised for the children,” Reiter says happily. 129,693 euros was the official donation total, which notary Friedrich Kahlen announced on Saturday evening. A little more than 132,000 euros were collected last year. And singer Bernhard Speer mingled with the fundraisers on Saturday.
Singer Bernhard Speer collected donations and was available for fan selfies © IRFC
Wish fulfillment and a voluntary road construction operation
But moving things have also happened in many side scenes of the Iron Road for Children 2023. The wish of Franziska Papouschek, a 79-year-old Harley Davidson fan, came true. She was at the biker ride on Saturday – on the pillion. The fact that the trip to Eisenerz in Vordernberg had to be cut short by a heavy downpour was not a problem for them.
A dream came true for 79-year-old FRanziska Papouschek – she rode a Harley with © IRFC
For Philipp Maier there was an action that stunned him. The complete renovation of Gösserstrasse, which began shortly before the start of the Iron Road, gave the organizers a headache. The reason: The exits on Saturday should lead through the Gösserstraße. But the all-clear was given: “The site manager at Swietelsky Trofaiach and his colleagues are all IRFC fans. That’s why they worked extra shifts to get the road ready for the exits. You have to imagine that. That’s great.” , emphasizes Maier.
Harley fan Max Krenn and his colleagues paved the Gösserstraße until Friday night so that it was ready for the Saturday rides. © IRFC
And Max Krenn is the IRFC fan who paved the asphalt with his six colleagues late into the night on Friday. “The preparatory work was done by another group. My six colleagues and I then paved the road. At 10 p.m. on Friday I drove home to Kapfenstein and on Saturday I rode my Harley back to the Iron Road,” he says in a good mood.
Blessing on the church square
A highlight every year is the blessing of the bikers by the Leoben parish priest Markus Plöbst on Sunday morning. Incidentally, he made the inner courtyard of the rectory available to the hard rockers of the Nova Rock stage as a “guest room”.
Pastor Markus Plöbst after the blessing on the church square in Leoben © IRFC
The talk of the town on Monday is Josh’s performance. and Bernard Speer. Punctually at the beginning of the concert, heavy rain had set in, which should stay longer. No problem, the musical “Expresso & Tschianti” inspired thousands of fans even in rainy weather.
Those who were already at the main square on Saturday morning were luckier with the weather, because that’s when Josh gave up. the honor at the sound check – and an encore for his audience.