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Paléo rocks Switzerland’s biggest open air festival turns 40

Paléo started out as a folk music gathering. Forty years on it has become the largest open air festival in Switzerland. (SRF/swissinfo.chexternal link

Back in 1975, Paléo’s founding members struggled to finance what started out as a folk festival. They went to Paris to persuade stars like Joan Baez to come to Nyon, showing her postcards of the lakeside town. 

The first festival took place over three days in April 1976 in Nyon’s old communal assembly rooms and 1,800 people turned up. The location was moved to a meadow and then in 1990 to a 15-hectare site the north of the town of Nyon.

Today festival tickets sell out within an hour. In its 40th year there are 280 concerts over seven days on seven stages. Among the performers are Sting, Robbie Williams and Patti Smith.

This year, Paléo has the motto “Far East” and features musicians from Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.