For decades the Tagada has been drawing crowds of teenagers who grew up in and around it. Everybody in town knows it. The Tagada serves as a stage for those who want to shine, it serves as a meeting point for those who have nowhere else to go. It is a venue of escapism and a living room for the Tagada family – often troubled youth who lack other social backing. The speed, the sound, the lights and the people make them forget their worries for a few minutes – and give them a space to come to age.
The Tagada is the only ride of the Prater where you have to work with your body and develop skills in order to do it well. It might cause a few broken bones in the process but this is considered to be part of the game. „After all they tell you not to stand up during the ride. We simply don’t care too much about it. And when we get hurt it is our own fault.“ says Mete, one of the best riders of the season.
„I hope I can keep up the business until my son is 16 – I want him to experience what I experienced as a young man“ says Thomas Sittler, owner of Austria’s most famous centrifuge. When you sit at the cashier’s desk or behind the steering knobs you are a hero – you are granting them access to the stage world and you move it.“ Judging from the tone of his voice commenting his costumer’s rides, you can tell how much he still loves his old wheel.
When technical difficulties occur his employees call him to bring it back to life. He still knows it best. When their world comes to a halt the youngsters look up from their phones and assemble to berate what to do next. A collective sigh is heard when Gose, Kevin, Thomas and Marcus finally get it to work again. The next ride is on them. „I don’t really know why the Tagada is such a success after all these years“ Thomas Sittler claims. „I am simply happy it is.“