Temperatures are rising and the first festival of the summer is around the corner. So it’s time for me to give you all the deets of this year’s festival season.
First up we got the
Caribana Festival 5-9 June
Motto: Can you feel the rhythm?
Deets: Caribana Festival was established in 1990 and is based on the shoreline of Lake Geneva. As the name suggests it is all about Caribbean music but the range of artists and genres variies. This year will be my first time there and I am super excited to see/feel the atmosphere of a festival near a lake and in the French part of Switzerland.
Highlight: This year will be my first time at the Caribana Festival because my highlight The Script are playing there. After cancelling their show this is one of two performances left in Switzerland. From busking at a London station to playing the big stages Passenger is always worth to listen to. For the lovers of DJ music we got the French duo Ofenbach. Follow @Kekoaskorner on Instagram to check out the festival via her stories.
Dress code: Colourful big patterns with a little bit of leather.
Unique Moments 6-9 June
Motto: Special nights within special surroundings
Deets: Unique Moments is held at Landesmuseum Zurich for the 2nd time and promises to be special. As any festival in Zurich it is quite pricey but the great acts and the special surroundings might make it worthwhile. Follow me on Instagram to check out the opening night with Travis.
Highlight: Like I said Travis will be opening the festival this year celebrating their hit record “The Man Who”. The German Band Kraftklub closes the festival with an energetic bang. Stephan Eicher & Martin Suter and Patti Smith and her band will round up the great line-up this year.
Dress code: Fancy clothes for a warm summer evening.
Greenfield Festival 7-9 June
Motto: Rock the Valley!
Deets: The Greenfield festival is based in Interlaken and was established in 2005. From the start the organizers were able to get the biggest names in rock to take the stage at Greenfield. 30 Seconds to Mars, Slipknot, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park are just a few of the big names from the past years. But every festival lives off the “smaller” bands who create the best atmosphere even before the headliner starts.
Highlight: My personal highlight has to be Limp Bizkit. Who doesn’t remember Halle Berry and Fred Durst in “Behind Blue Eyes”. But I guess this is the softest song in their repertoire and they are ready to freaking rock the stage! Another band I’d like to mention is Oomph! I didn’t know that they still existed but reading this name immediately brought back memories of way back when they were on Hitlist Germany on MTV! Who remembers “Augen Auf?”
Dress code: Black and Band-shirts is big yes! You can never ever go wrong with that combo.
Openair St. Gallen 28 June – 1 July
Motto: There is no bad weather just bad clothes!
Deets: Openair St. Gallen was established in 1977 and is based in a protected area close to the city. It is known for its bad weather and the heaps of mud in front of the stage. However this set up can make for very special moments. Lorde loved it last year and it turned out to be a very special gig. I do think that they always have a special line-up of newcomers and it’s a good festival for trend scouts.
Highlight: I want to mention a few artists here. First up Depeche Mode and the Killers. I witnessed the 80s band first hand last year and they are superb live as well the Killers who put up a great show. Jess Glynne is making sure to include everyone which I love. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Portugal The Man yet but I’ve heard so many good things about their show so it’s well worth checking them out as well as the shooting star Alma.
Dress code: Super cute wellies and rain ponchos 🙂
Frauenfeld Openair 5-7 July
Motto: Hip Hop’s best
Deets: Openair Frauenfeld is one of the most prestigious Hip Hop festivals. It manages to get all the big names since 1985 and obviously attracts a lot of hip hop fans from all over Europe. It always sells out pretty quickly so if you haven’t gotten your ticket yet you are too late. Being a early bird is super important for this festival.
Highlight: That’s quite obvious! EMINEM is giving one of his rare shows and I am super excited to hear all about it. I loved N.E.R.D live and I can imagine that the Frauenfeld crow will love it. Another Highlight on Saturday evening is Wiz Khalifa. Chilled out rap music make for the perfect ending of this year’s hip hop festival.
Dress code: Hoodies and baggy pants… and a lot of bling bling
Montreux Jazz Festival 29 June – 14 July
Motto: Glam up for the Music Connoisseur’s festival
Deets: Montreux Jazz Festival has one of the best reputations in music -not just Jazz- I believe and is a famous festival within artists ranks. It was established in 1967 and is the 2nd largest Jazz festival behind Montreal’s International Jazz festival. The venues changed over the years or should I say a few venues got added since it grew bigger and bigger. Unfortunately I have never been but I would love to go.
Highlight: Aloe Blacc is one of my favourite artists EVER! He’s so talented and over the years he learned to entertain the audience. Billy Idol and Hollywood Vampires are sharing the night! How awesome is that? THE Jack White – Yes, Seven Nation Army – is on too and it this would be one of my highlights to check out. I’d love to see how he performs live.
Dress code: Like I said Glam Up and dress for the occasion. If you go the the rock night make sure to wear leather pants or a jacket. If you go to Jamie Cullum’s Jazz Night why don’t you wear your best little black dress with some nice high heels? And guys suit and tie looks always nice 😉
Gurtenfestival 11-14 July
Motto: Rock the hill!
Deets: Gurtenfestival must be the highest festival in Switzerland. It’s based on the “Berner Huusberg” (the local hill in Berne) called Gurten. Guess when the festival started?! 1977!! So there’s a lot of history to this amazing festival. My first visit was 2011 and I had the best time and last year I won a 4 day VIP pass from Ticketcorner. You can read all about it here.
Highlight: My highlights this year aren’t the headliners. Gurtenfestival has managed to get so many good “smaller bands”. I can only imagine how cool it must be chilling to the soft sounds of Angus & Julia Stone or rocking to “No Roots” with Alice Merton or getting goosebumps listening to the amazing voice of Jacob Banks.
Dress code: It’s all about the layers at Gurtenfestival. It’s super hot during the day but it can get cold pretty quickly – after all we’re in the mountains! So make sure you’ll take a light jacket and maybe a leather jacket with you.
Moon and Stars 13-21 July
Motto: Parla Italiano? under the stars of the beautiful Ticino
Deets: Moon and Stars was established in 2004 and it is based in the beautiful Piazza Grande in Locarno. The festival has a great mix between international superstars, Swiss artists and Italian singers. I’ve heard a lot of good things from people who discovered new artists, ate great food and had the best time.
Highlight: Obviously The Script! #TheScriptFamily But we also got the Girl Power evening with Rita Ora and Emeli Sande and The Swiss Night with Pegasus, Hecht and Baschi. But I think the best evening will be Anastacia and Nek – they are both super powerful and very entertaining.
Dress code: Summer in the city! Plus the concerts are held in a Piazza where the air isn’t really flowing but the dresses definitely should. Get your loose and flowy things out.
Openair Lumnezia 19-21 July
Motto: The energy never dies!
Deets: Openair Lumnezia was established in 1985 and is based in a valley in Graubünden. It started out as a rock festival with only 700 visitors. This increased dramatically to around 18’000 visitors over the years which led to a location change. However because the space is limited it cannot crow any further which guarantees for a cozy atmosphere. To me that sounds amazing!
Highlight: The little energy bundle called Beth Ditto is a headliner and as well as Marteria and Bastille! As soon as the line-up came out I couldn’t believe it. I loved it so much! The energy will be unbelievable and if you are going I can guarantee you that you’ll be loving it 🙂 All of them are amazing live performers and those are 3 are just my highlights!
Dress code: Again this open-air is in the mountains. So make sure you have clothes for warm and cold weather with you. I love the layer look and you’re dressed for every occasion.
Paléo Festival Nyon 17- 22 July
Motto: Chillax and parlais français 🙂
Deets: It started out in 1976 as the Nyon Folk Festival and just got bigger and bigger over the years. On 6 stages within 6 days lots of artists are able to show their talent from super famous to newcomers you’ve got everything here. To me it sounds really cool and I’ve heard that the people are super chill and you’ll have a great time there.
Highlight: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats are only playing this festival in Switzerland so it is well worth travelling there for this amazing band. Their energy live is incredible. The brilliant country rock group from Iceland Kaleo will be performing at Paléo too. Dancing away to 80’s Synthie Pop by Depeche Mode is always a good idea.
Dress code: Be your own. If you love flowy dresses and jeans jackets or leathery rock outfits you’ll fit in perfectly. The festival crowd is super divers and special. So no matter what you wear you’ll have a great time.
Blue Balls Festival 20-28 July
Motto: Meet the artists at Blue Balls!
Deets: Blue Balls is located right next to the main station in Lucerne next to the beautiful lake. The sound is really great and what I love most about the festival is that they have a talk with the artists of the evening before the shows. It’s called “Meet the artist” and tix cannot be bought. They are for free and given out in front of the building. They also have a few smaller stages outside and art shows to look at.
Highlight: Veronica Fusaro is a Swiss artist and has a brilliant voice. She is well worth checking out. Some more female power comes from Alanis Morissette. The British duo Hurts are not only super funny but also so very talented. Speaking of talented Tom Odell is giving one of his rare gigs or so it seems to me. So if you wanna see him you better do it at the Blue Balls festival who knows when his next gig is. Lastly another funny talented guy is Milow. I’ve seen him live and I’ve met him so if you love good vibe music he’s the right person to go to.
Dress code: It’s kinda glamorous so dress up! My go to leather jacket or leather pants are appropriate. Plus it’s one of the rare festivals that are inside. So don’t worry about the weather! 🙂
Im Fluss 23 July – 13 August
Motto: Amazing Music and you can decide on the price!
Deets: I was amazed when I heard that the Im Fluss Festival set in Basel is for free. Well actually it is not for free. You pay the musicians fairly and squarely to what you think it’s fair. So be generous! Putting up a show and entertaining you is not easy. Give them what they deserve. Also it is based on a first serve first come basis so if you want good spots come early. The stage is set in the middle of the river Rhein so “Im Fluss” which deffo makes for a good atmosphere.
Highlight: Naturally 7!!! I adore those 7 guys who are giving everything to make sure you are having a good time. They don’t need any instruments, they have their voices and it sounds like you have a full band. But read it yourself or better listen to them live! The German Electro band 2Raumwohnung open this lovely festival and they are super energetic too!
Dress code: Basel is said to be a bit warmer than other cities but remember it’s in the evening so make sure that you don’t forget your jeans jacket over your summery dress.
Heitere Openair 10-12 August
Motto: As it says in its name be heiter! (Happy)
Deets: Heitere Openair is based in Zofingen was founded in 1991! What a good year (The year I was born ;-)) It has a mix of all kinds of genres from Rap to Clubmusic, Rock to R’n’B. To me it always looked like a very chilled happy party with friendly people.
Highlight: I’d like to mention this lad from Liverpool. Louis Berry is awesome and comes from the town of the Beatles! For the Schlager party people Heitere has Trauffer for you. His shows are very passionate and I promise you you’ll have a good time. My favourite song is “Z’jung für mi” (Too young for me) and I cannot get enough of it. Lastly this Gentleman JP Cooper will amaze you with his beautiful voice and thoughtful lyrics.
Dress code: A T-shirts and some comfy trousers will be just fine! It’s about having a good time not what you wear.
Stars in Town 7-11 August
Motto: Party close to Europe’s biggest water fall
Deets: Stars in Town is located in the heart of Schaffhausen and founded in 2010. They’ve managed bring many huge stars to town but what I love most about the festival is that they have lots of mini stages where you can enjoy gigs for free. Last year KARAVANN managed to get a spot to showcase their talent.
Highlight: What I love about this festival is that the acts of one evening fit perfectly together. We have the Power Woman Night with KT Tunstall, Joss Stone and Anastacia and The Big Man Voices Night with Kaleo and Rag’N’Bone Man. There’s the Rock Night, The German Night and the Perfect Son in Law Night. Find out more here.
Dress code: Like I said we have theme nights here in Schaffhausen so you know exactly how to dress for the event. But also make sure it’s not too fancy after all it’s a small town 😉
Musikfestwochen Winterthur 8-19 August
Motto: Party on the streets of Winterthur!
Deets: Musikfestwochen Winterthur are a 12 day festival with lots of music and art for free. Only a part of the huge programme needs to be paid. What I love about it is that a lot of local artists get the chance to play in front of big crowds and they get to present themselves. Around 50k people are visiting the festival within those 9 days. There are 4 stages but lots of busking is going on too.
Highlight: I’m gonna mention two highlights of the paid programme but make sure to check out the amazing atmosphere surrounding it. Billy Talent one of my favourite punk bands are headlining the Saturday. Friday is headlined by the German rap crew the Beginner who I saw last year at the Gurtenfestival and let me tell you. They know how to party!
Dress code: Billy Talent is Punk and Beginner is rap. So dress accordingly 🙂 During the day just come as you please! It’s a festival celebrating art and music and it’s for the families so I don’t think a dress code applies.
Openair Gampel 16-19 August
Motto: Go Big Or Go Home!
Deets: Gampel goes waaay back to 1986 and is based in the beautiful canton of Valais! A year later they had Uriah Heep as Headliner. How cool is that? 1995 Bob Geldof did the honours. Die Toten Hosen were there lots of times. So it’s clear that it got bigger and bigger over the years until today’s 80’000 people rocking their heads to brilliant music.
Highlight: Where should I start???!!! There are sooo many highlights at Openair Gampel this year. I wanna start with Welshly Arms who are an incredible live band and just the nicest people! Check out my interview with them by clicking here. But nothing and no-one can beat Marteria at a festival! This is a must!
Dress code: Good question! We have lots of different music genres and the people are relaxed. So I guess whatever you feel like works for me. Comfy clothes such as yoga pants and a loose top. But remember it’s in a Valley so don’t forget a jacket.
Zurich Openair 22-25 August
Motto: Time to show off!
Deets: Zurich Openair is the baby of all the openairs. It’s only the 4th time it is held on a lawn close to the airport. However from the start they were able to get all the big names in the industry. I do think they have a bit of an electronic/house feel to it but it really depends on the evening.
Highlight: For those of you who didn’t see them in April at Hallenstadion or if you want to see them again Imagine Dragons are back in Zurich! My rap fans will be happy to see Kendrick Lamar. But I’d like to mention two brilliant British masterminds: Liam Gallagher – as you were – and Tom Grennan. Both of them have an attitude but they put up a brilliant show and let’s face it Liam Gallagher is a legend.
Dress code: Make sure to check out all the latest Festival trends which you’ve spotted at Coachella. I can guarantee you that this is perfect for the Zurich Openair. I wanna see hot pants, fringe ponchos, gold tattoos etc.
Those are all brilliant festivals but there are even more gigs. For example Stars of Sound has amazing acts and is always worth a visit. The Line-up of Rock the Ring is great too! H2U Openair Uster is a very small one but managed to get great acts for their 2nd season. Openair Etziken showcases the amazing Swiss artists we got and Nena is coming back after her 2 sold out shows at Volkshaus. I could go on and on but I think I gave you enough deets so you can decide for yourself what kind of festival and which bands you’d like to see. If you go I’d love to know more about your experience. Just message me on Instagram! 🙂