There is one event I look forward to every year, which makes me tick winter as almost done, let’s say almost a celebration. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably know it already: I am talking about Zermatt Unplugged.
This little festival nestled into the gorgeous mountain region of Wallis, Switzerland is usually the perfect getaway for snow sports lovers, but once a year, the small town gets into serious party mode before the season ends. Since over 10 years already, Zermatt Unplugged offers 80+ concerts over the course of 5 days. For avid music lovers like me, the schedule can be hard to hold, since there is so much to see and hear. 2018 was no different.
A long weekend at the festival can start with a lazy brunch and a stroll around town, because, let’s be real, this place is photo worthy! The afternoon program usually can lead to discover new artists on the taste village site, while munching on different Swiss foods at the cute stalls or sipping on your first drink of the day, because, why not! For the more adventurous, there always is some jazzy athmosphere higher up at Gandegghütte with The Ronnie Scott’s Allstars, who also play an amazing jam session two nights during the Festival, joined by the bigger acts on schedule (and a perfect opportunity if your concert is sold out!). In alternative to that, new artists can be discovered on 2500m over the sea level at the Blue Lounge, which is accessible by holding a regular concert ticket or a festival pass, which gives you freedom to roam the smaller venues.
My big names for this year were Jack Savoretti on Friday, whom I discovered at this festival specifically, and Lianne LaHavas, who replaced Jessie J on the final night on Saturday. Jack Savoretti is very easy to fall in love with, no wonder the tent was a sold out. His charme and love for music are very obvious since the very beginning, as as well the incredible vibe with his band. It was easy for him to take the crowd on a journey after the usual hesitancy (a very Swiss thing). He played all his big hits like “Home” and “Tie Me Down”, as as well some tracks of his most recent album of 2016, “Sleep No More” which I especially love to listen to while on a roadtrip. Before the show on Saturday, I did know little to nothing about Lianne La Havas to be honest, only her very famous single “Is Your Love Big Enough?”. It was clear that she has a great voice and she looked absolutely gorgeous when she entered the stage. For my surprise, she played the whole concert by herself, holding a guitar, trying to please a crowd that payed to see someone else, and yet decided to give her a shot. I have to admit, it was hard to watch for a few moments, since Lianne seemed to be a little nervous and it made me feel even worse when I saw a lot of people leaving the show. If I can give a piece of advice to any concert goer, please, please, please, do not leave shows like this. You might think that nobody sees you sneaking away, but actually the artist has quite a good view from the stage.
Where to stay: Finding a quite affordable place to stay in Zermatt during those dates can be quite exhausting, especially if booking late. Ending up only finding rooms in 5 star hotels a few weeks prior has as only solution to get a room in the towns nearby, like Täsch, which is easy to reach by train even in the late hours at night. This year we opted for a studio apartment located literally in the center of town (thanks, Shirley, you’re bae!) through Airbnb, and it could not be better! (click here for a 20 CHF discount on your first Airbnb booking!)
How to get there: Zermatt is very easy to reach by train from every Swiss destination. Tickets can be purchased effortlessly via the SBB App, having them stored on your phone at all times. The ride takes between 3 and 4 hours.