Montreux forced to drop four unvaccinated British acts

He's only human: Rag’n’Bone Man, here performing in Bern in 2017, won't be appearing at Montreux after all. © Keystone / Anthony Anex

The Montreux Jazz Festival has cancelled the concerts of four British artists. It did this to comply with current conditions of entry into Switzerland from the UK for travellers who are not fully vaccinated.

This content was published on June 25, 2021 - 12:31

Soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man, one of the headline acts of the 2021 festival, which starts next Friday, will no longer be able to perform. The concerts of Inhaler, Alfa Mist and the Yussef Dayes Trio will also be cancelled, the organisers said in a statementExternal link on Friday.

Italian singer Zucchero, who is already playing two nights in Montreux, will replace Rag’n’Bone Man and play two more concerts, on July 11 at 6pm and 9.30pm. Woodkid will also play an extra concert instead of Inhaler, on July 2.

Dutch songwriter Benny Sings will stand in for Alfa Mist on July 10, and Danish jazz trio Athletic Progression will play instead of the Yussef Dayes Trio on July 14.

Tickets remain valid for the replacement concerts. It’s also possible to request a refund. Those concerned have been informed by email.

The festival organisers said they were working on maintaining the remaining concerts by artists based in the UK, where the situation is particularly difficult owing to the progression of the delta variant of Covid-19.

“Whether or not these artists can come depends on their vaccination status and that of their touring entourage, as well as their ability to quarantine at the start of their European tour or before their concert at Montreux,” they said.

Intimate edition

The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the few big music events in Switzerland to be taking place this summer. Many outdoor music festivals, including Paléo, Bern’s Gurten festival and the St Gallen Open-Air, have been cancelled for the second year in a row owing to the pandemic.

The reduced format at Montreux will take place on four stages, two paying and two free. Some 500 fans will be offered a spectacular view of the Alps at certain shows performed on a stage built on Lake Geneva, 25 metres from the shore. The festival can welcome a total of 1,200-1,500 people a day.

Other highlights planned for this intimate edition include Ibrahim Maalouf, Fred Hersch, Raul Midon, Nubya Garcia, Roberto Fonseca, Robben Ford, Bill Evans, Sarah McCoy and Christian Sands.

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