Swiss music festivals not to miss this summer

Summer is approaching and so is festival season. Here are six essential dates for your calendar in 2018

By Time Out editors |
Montreux Jazz Festival, Lake Geneva, Time Out Switzerland
Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/Flickr

The Jazz one: Montreux Jazz Festival

See the world’s biggest jazz artists up close on the shores of Lake Geneva. Although the event attracts 250,000 revellers over two weeks, the fest – where greats return year-on-year – is known for its intimate live shows. Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald all played here way back when.

Lake Geneva. June 29-July 14.

Electron Festival, Time Out Switzerland, music festivals
Photo: Walter Amelia/nudevinyl/Flickr

The hipster one: Electron Festival

The relationship between electronic music and visual art is celebrated at this on-point event, which spans venues across Geneva. Highbrow installations, workshops and conferences run all day before punters surrender themselves to the party by night.

Various venues around Geneva. April 19-21, 26-28.

Open Air St. Gallen, music festival, Time Out Switzerland
Joel Bez/Flickr

The rock one: OpenAir St.Gallen

This rock and indie-centred music fest, which began in the seventies, has a holistic approach to partying. Like at Glastonbury, the space for camping and seeing the live music is one and the same. Drink your own beers at your own tent while the likes of Depeche Mode, The Killers and Nine Inch Nails play in a relaxed environment.

St Gallen. June 28-July 1.

Festi’neuch, music festival, Neuchâtel, Time Out Switzerland
Michael Schranz/Flickr

The family-friendly one: Festi’neuch

On the fringes of the beautiful Lake Neuchâtel, this fest attracts a more grown-up crowd. The broad range of musicians mostly represent current sounds, and performers this year include Calypso Rose, Warhaus and Lily Allen. The spectacular views over the Alps are another reason to tick this one off the list.

Neuchâtel. June 14-17.

Wolfmother, Caribana Festival, music festival, Time Out Switzerland
Photo: User:Rxnd/Wikipedia Commons

The intimate one: Caribana Festival

Don’t be fooled by the name: this is no ode to Caribbean culture. Instead, the festival is eclectic, featuring steadfast names from rock and pop, this year including Status Quo, Passenger and Simple Minds, plus contemporary talent like Belgian electro-pop act Oscar and the Wolf. The festival’s tagline – “Because small is beautiful” – helps attract an intimate but thoughtful crowd.

Crans-sur-Nyon. June 5-9.

Seek out Switzerland’s best bits

Zurich, Switzerland
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Things to do

The best spring events around Switzerland

Make the most of this glorious season with our guide to all the best things to do throughout spring 2018. Whether you’re looking for art exhibitions, food and drink, theatre, festivals, music, sport, literature, comedy or something else entirely, you won’t be short of options with our comprehensive selection.