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Record numbers turn out for the stars at Paléo

First night excitement at the Paléo festival Keystone

Switzerland's largest open-air festival, the Paléo - billed by the organisers as a birthday party - opened on Tuesday featuring 33 performers, including Michael von der Heide, Renaud and Morcheeba on the first night.

This year’s 25th anniversary festival is a far cry from the first in 1976, when fewer than 2,000 people attended a more folk-oriented event in the nearby town of Nyon, next to Lake Geneva.

The festival now attracts such big names as Oasis, and the range of music is much wider than in previous years, with the Buena Vista Social Club also among the guest performers.

The Paléo was founded by a 21-year-old local man, Daniel Rossellat, who with a group of friends wanted to organise an annual event for young people.

Last week Rossellat announced that he was stepping down after 25 years as festival director, to take up a new post in charge of “events” at Expo 02 – Switzerland’s national exhibition – in two years’ time.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR