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Traditional sounds The song dominating the 2015 folk music festival

For the first time in the history of Switzerland’s federal folk music festival, a theme tune has been composed to be played by all the participating music groups. (SRF/Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)

The author is Hanspeter Zehnder from Aarau, where the festival takes place from 10-13 September. He’s the leader of the ‘Ländler-Wurlitzer’ group, one of the 300 music bands participating in this year’s event.

The federal folk music festival has been running since 1971 and takes place every four years. It’s the biggest festival of its kind in the alpine country, and is expected to attract 100,000 visitors this year. The picturesque old town of Aarau will be dominated by the event, with 20 different concert areas aside from the three music stages.  

swissinfo.ch looks back at the highlights from past festivals, and meets Zehnder and his group as they prepare for the stage. He tells swissinfo.ch: “A federal festival, whether it’s for music, yodeling or Swiss wrestling, is important for maintaining and fostering Switzerland’s customs and traditions.”