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Paléo pulsates to a rock beat

Depeche Mode are one of the highlights of this year's Paléo festival

(Keystone)

Summer is one long party for festival goers in French-speaking Switzerland - after Montreux Jazz Festival it is now the turn of the Paléo open-air music festival.

This year's event, which runs from July 18 to 23, has a heavy rock flavour – both old and new – with plenty of surprises in store. Of the 120 acts on the eclectic bill, over 80 are playing at the six-day festival for the first time.

A major coup for the organisers is the appearance this year of British veterans The Who. Led by vocalist Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townsend, the tireless rockers are famed for their dynamic live performances and will no doubt be inspiring new generations of fans.

Other rock stars sure to pull in large crowds are Basildon's favourites Depeche Mode, the trio Placebo and the French group Indochine.

The 31st Paléo also sees The Pixies rubbing shoulders with singer-songwriters Ben Harper and Tracy Chapman, whose Montreux show last week received rave reviews.

Some of the lesser-known bands on the bill waiting to see their names in lights include American pop-rockers The Spinto Band, indie live sensations The Kooks and Manchester band Kill The Young, who are sure to rip up the main stage.

And this year the list of new acts that should not be missed is a long one, including The Rakes, We Are Scientists, Shout Out Louds, Infadels, The Lords of Altamount, 3 Guys Never In, Hushpuppies and Zita Swoon.

Multi-coloured France

Like most years, Paléo offers a rich line-up of French artists. In 2006 the spotlight is very much on veteran singer Maxime Le Forestier, who will be revisiting the music of Georges Brassens, the latest teenage heartthrob Raphaël and fun-loving Dionysos.

The line-up features a long list of other French stars including Louise Attaque, Joseph d'Anvers, Anaïs, Arthur H, Bénabar, Cali, Olivia Ruiz and Da Silva.

The festival also reserves a space for hip-hop, with French rapper Diam's, Marseille's unique Psy4 De La Rime and slam artist Grand Corps Malade set to move the crowds with their mixture of beats and rhymes.

Rest of the world

Paléo will also echo to a reggae beat, with Ziggy Marley rubbing shoulders with French dub artists High Tone, Zenzile and Dub Incorporation.

This year's Global Village is given over to music from the Balkans region and eastern Europe.

Composer and guitarist Goran Bregovic, who is known for his film scores for countryman Emir Kusturica, will be setting the main stage alight with his crazy blend of rock, classical and Balkan rhythms.

Sunday's traditional classical interlude is this year reserved for Salzburg's leading star – Mozart. To mark his 250th birthday, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Broadcasting Service will be presenting his Coronation Mass and Exultate Jubilate.

swissinfo, Marc-André Miserez

In brief

Paléo 2006 takes place at Nyon, in canton Vaud from July 18-23.
The main acts:

Tuesday July 18: Ben Harper, The Pixies, Dionysos, Maxime Le Forestier, Katerine.

Wednesday July 19: Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, The Dandy Warhols, Ziggy Marley.

Thursday July 20: The Who, Louise Attaque, Goran Bregovic.

Friday July 21: Tracy Chapman, Amadou and Mariam, Cali, Editors, The Rakes.

Saturday July 22: Placebo, Feeder, Bénabar, Diam's.

Sunday July 23: Indochine, Joseph Arthur, Raphaël.

This year's festival sold out quickly, but each evening 1,000 tickets are set aside and will be on sale from 9 am every day on the website www.paleo.ch and at ticket outlets. No ticket is available on the spot.

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Key facts

There are 120 shows on six covered and open-air stages on the 80-hectare site.
Approximately 35,000 people are expected each evening at the six-day festival.
This year's festival budget is SFr18.5 million ($14.6 million).

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