2020 Montreux Jazz Festival cancelled due to virus

Elton John, performing at the 2019 festival. Keystone / Valentin Flauraud

The iconic event joins various others, including the national yodelling festival, to cancel due to Covid-19.

This content was published on April 17, 2020 - 11:29
Keystone-SDA/Reuters/dos

It’s the first time since 1967 that the festival won’t take place, organisers said on Friday. The concerts, featuring a line-up including Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz, were set to have been staged on the shores of Lake Geneva from July 3-18,

“The programme planned for this summer will be partly carried over to next year’s festival, which will take place from 2 to 17 July 2021,” the organisers wrote in a statement.

Despite the government’s announcement yesterday of a three-stage plan to loosen anti-Covid-19 measures in the coming weeks and months, the fact that hygiene and social distancing measures remain in place mean such a large-scale event was not possible, they said.

The two-week “Rolls-Royce” of international music festivals, which was launched in 1967, draws some 250,000 people each year. Last year, the diverse line-up of acts featured Elton John, Sting, Janet Jackson, Chick Corea, and Thom Yorke.

It’s the latest in a long line of cultural, sporting, and political events to be cancelled due to the epidemic; on Thursday, the organisers of the Paléo music festival that takes place at the end of July near Geneva, also said this year’s event was not happening.

On Friday, meanwhile, the national yodelling festival, which had been scheduled to take place in Basel at the end of June, was also put off for another year.

Ticketholders for the Montreux festival will be “informed”, according to organisers. Paléo, meanwhile, has said that all 2020 tickets will be made valid for the 2021 version, and are urging fans to sit tight.


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