Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Montreux Jazz Festival cuts back on programme

The official poster of the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival by Icelandic artist Katrin Petursdottir Keystone/Montreux Jazz Festival

The Montreux Jazz Festival has announced a slimmed-down programme for 2007, but big acts will be returning to the lakeside city.

Faithless, the Chemical Brothers and the Beastie Boys are just some of the names headlining the concerts at the Montreux congress centre for two weeks from July 6.

The festival’s founder, Claude Nobs, told Swiss public radio that given the cost of organising concerts in two different locations, it was not possible to maintain the format.

“The public and the artists loved it, but we needed to double our infrastructure and services to organise the festival that way,” he said. “It was almost like running two separate events.”

The decision to scale back the festival means that the jazz concerts held recently in the casino will now head back to the congress centre, leaving a building around which much of the Montreux myth was built.

The fire that began during a Frank Zappa concert and destroyed the casino in 1971 inspired Deep Purple’s classic song, Smoke On The Water. It reopened four years later, although concerts were held there only more recently.


The organisers reckon the move will save them around SFr600,000 ($499,000). The budget for this year is approximately SFr16.5 million, SFr3 million less than for last year’s 40th anniversary event.

“We couldn’t repeat last year’s programme,” said Nobs. “We needed to be realistic and move back to something simpler for the artists and the public.”

Jazz is still on the cards though and will be headlined by acts including Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Larry Carlton and Norah Jones.

But most of the spectators will be travelling to Montreux for the bigger acts that have made the festival’s reputation over the years. As usual, the programme is an eclectic mix of rock, pop, rap, hip-hip, reggae, salsa as well as jazz music.

There are plenty of Swiss exclusives, according to Nobs, with 43 of the 62 groups coming to Montreux making it their only stop in Switzerland.

The headline acts include the Chemical Brothers, Faithless, the Beastie Boys, Placebo, Lambchop and the Wu-Tang Clan. Some of the other musicians that will appeal to older fans are Roger Hodgson of Supertramp fame and Foreigner.

There will also be a special Swiss evening with a homage to the composer singer Gilles. His best-known song, Les trois cloches (The three bells) was made famous by French chanteuse Edith Piaf during the Second World War.

swissinfo with agencies

For the 2007 Montreux Jazz Festival, 94,500 tickets have gone on sale.

The organisers are selling 87,000 tickets for the concerts in the congress centre’s two halls.

There are another 7,500 for other events, including five musical cruises on Lake Geneva.

Concerts will begin this year at 8.30pm and the price of tickets ranges from SFr59 to SFr189.

The Chemical Brothers
The Beastie Boys
Tori Amos
Ismael Lo
Youssou N’dour
Chick Corea
George Benson
Al Jarreau
Jeff Beck
Rickie Lee Jones
Van Morrison
Pet Shop Boys
Solomon Burke
Jimmy Cliff
The B-52s
Pat Metheny
Maria Bethânia
Roger Hodgson
Wu-Tang Clan

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR