The best events around Switzerland this spring

Written by
Time Out editors

Art exhibitions, rock concerts, comedy shows, food, sport… these are the coolest cultural happenings going on across the country from April to June.

Nez à Nez. Contemporary Perfumers

Sniff your way through the complex compositions of 13 of the world’s most acclaimed perfumers. Nez à Nez not only flaunts their flacons, but also presents their stories, craft, and scents with the aid of six innovative olfactory installations designed by studio Glithero. Mudac, Lausanne. Until Jun 16. 

Boy George and Culture Club

Boy George

Back with new Culture Club material for the first time in 20 years, Boy George headlines this year’s five-day Zermatt Unplugged festival on April 11. See how tunes from 2018 LP ‘Life’ measure up against old hits such as ‘Karma Chameleon’. Zermatt. Apr 11.

Eddie Izzard

The trans comic and actor brings new show ‘Wunderbar’ to the Samsung Hall. He’s already performed it in French in Paris and German in Berlin, though this date will be in English. Samsung Hall, Zurich. Apr 13.

Fondazione Marguerite Arp

The little-known gem reopens for its 2019 season on April 21. Since 2014, a 90m2 space housed in a modern building next to German-French artist Jean Arp's studio house in Locarno-Solduna has showcased a rotating exhibition of the foundation's collection of over 1,600 works, nearly half of which comprise Arp's sensual organic forms. Fondazione Marguerite Arp, Locarno-Solduno. Apr 21-Oct 27. 

Black Sheep

Back in the 1990s, US hip-hop duo Black Sheep were members of the Native Tongues crew alongside the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. These days only one half of them, Andres ‘Dres’ Vargas, is still touring, recently releasing new solo work under the Black Sheep name. Kaserne Basel, Basel. Apr 30.

Fantasy Basel

Fan of cosplay, gaming or comic books? This year’s edition of Switzerland’s biggest comic con will feature stars from ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Star Wars’, cosplay events, gaming contests, live shows, prop exhibitions and much more. Messe Basel, Basel. May 3-5.

Rod Stewart

Having released his 30th studio album last year, Sir Roderick is still rasping out the tunes at the grand old age of 74. And hats off to him. Just one question, though: da ya think he’s still sexy? Hallenstadion, Zurich. May 7. 

Jack Savoretti

This 35-year-old English-Italian singer is intensely likeable. His songs dance the line where folk meets pop, and his cheerful new album ‘Singing to Strangers’ features tracks co-written with Bob Dylan and Kylie Minogue, no less. Volkshaus, Zurich. May 6. Palazzo dei Congressi, Lugano. May 7.


Her earlier albums were huge hits around the world, and now the queen of normcore – and collaborator on Eminem’s ‘Stan’ – is back with her fifth LP, ‘Still On My Mind’, and on tour. Volkshaus, Zurich. May 7

Bern Grand Prix

Bern Grand Prix

Join over 30,000 people panting their way around a course covering the ‘ten most beautiful miles in the world’ at this enormous running event through Bern’s Unesco-protected Old Town. May 11

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – In Concert 

It’s over 20 years since the first classic novel hit bookstores (feel old yet?). Now relive the magic of its film adaptation on the big screen in the Hallenstadion – with an orchestra playing the score live. Hallenstadion, Zurich. May 11.

Open Cellars Day 2019

Proud local makers show off their new wines in the Geneva countryside at this boozy get-together. Travelling by public transport highly recommended. Various venues around Geneva. May 25.

Jackie Chan Theatre: 11 Warriors

All right, so there’s no actual Jackie Chan, but this kung fu-dance spectacular features 11 upcoming martial artists from across China hand-selected by the movie legend himself. Theatre 11, Zurich. May 28.

No Such Thing as a Fish 

After selling out the Sydney Opera House, the quartet behind the UK fact-based comedy podcast are taking their show round Europe. The performance will feature the recording of a new episode. Uptown Geneva, Geneva. May 31. 

Rebecca Horn. Body Fantasies

German artist Rebecca Horn’s show combines early performative works and later kinetic sculpture such as her 'White Body Fan' fabric wings. Beyond the dream of flight, her bodily extensions draw attention to human needs and ambitions, as well as the struggle to overcome natural limitations. Profound, poetic and powerful. Museum Tinguely, Basel. Jun 5-Sep 22. 


Some 290 galleries from 34 countries are set to display works at this 2019 edition. Before heading into the main exhibition, check out Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici's ‘Aggregate’ outside in the Messeplatz, which mixes algorithmic choreography with live interaction to make us think about how identities are constructed and enacted and how collectivity is built through shared memories. Its eclectic soundtrack spans everything from Gil Scott-Heron to Romanian folk music and Depeche Mode. Messe Basel, Basel. Jun 13-16. 

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