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Montreux jazz festival finishes on rocking note

Deep Purple singer, Ian Gillan, on the last night of the Montreux festival Keystone

Switzerland's most prestigious music marathon, the Montreux jazz festival, has ended after 16 days on a high note both on and off the stage.

This content was published on July 23, 2000 - 08:03

The number of people attending the festival, which ended in the early hours of Sunday morning, touched 218,000 - 3,000 down on last year's record level.

Around 140,000 people watched the "off festival" on the shores of Lake Geneva, just behind the main auditorium building - the same number as in 1999.

Nonetheless, ticket sales were down - 78,000 compared to 81,000 last year. The festival's director, Claude Nobs, said there were two reasons: it was not possible to use the second auditorium during Keith Jarrett's concert; and more seats were placed in the concert halls this year.

A total of 2,500 musicians played at the festival, performing different forms of jazz, African, Brazilian and rock music. Apart from established names like B.B. King, Pat Metheny, Lionel Richie and Huey Lewis, there were also some relative newcomers, including a 14-year-old guitarist, Nawfel, who jammed with Deep Purple.

The final night once again emphasized that Montreux has come a long way since starting off as a jazz festival 34 years ago.

The grand finale was devoted to rock, with Deep Purple topping a bill which also included the up-and-coming Basel band, The Lovebugs.

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