Swiss resort to host drive-in classical concerts

The festival will have a picturesque setting in Charmey ©La Gruyere Tourisme/Drive in Festival du Lied

This content was published on July 24, 2020 - 17:00

The Swiss resort of Charmey is to host Switzerland's first ever drive-in classical music festival.

The “Drive-in Festival du Lied” of six concerts will run from Saturday until 31 July and is designed to be “coronavirus compatible”, reports Swiss public television RTS. The car park of the Charmey ski lifts, in the heart of the Fribourg Pre-Alps, will be transformed, giving people the opportunity to listen to the concerts from their cars.

This event is the brainchild of mezzo-soprano Marie-Claude Chappuis, founder of the Festival du Lied de Fribourg. "A solution had to be found so that the artists could return to live performances while making sure the audience remain safe,” she told RTS. “The idea for the drive-in came to me when I was thinking about the cinema system."

Audiences in cars will hear the concerts by opening the windows or roofs of their vehicles. A large LED screen will guarantee good visibility of the artists on stage. And in the event of rain, an FM channel will be available to festival-goers. A number of socially distanced chairs will also be available for those who don’t wish to sit in a car.

Performers include: Chappuis herself; flutist Maurice Steger who will open the festival; Swiss soprano Rachel Harnisch; the Zurich Stradivari Quartet; mezzo Marina Viotti; clarinettist Reto Bieri; lute player Luca Pianca (Swiss Music Prize); and the Geneva Brass Quintet.

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