Baloise Session: a winter festival retrospective

Festivals, Music

Season changes often mean a lot of things. First of all, we can free ourselves from some fabric layers, but as well the suspence rises high while awaiting one of spring’s best parts: festival line ups releases. While last summer was pretty disappointing in this matter, my favourite winter festival visit at Baloise Session was a hit, as always.

I mean, let’s say that my night in Basel started in a less charming way… I managed for the first time in my 5 years of blogging to let my camera slip out of my hands and smash the lens hard on the ground. Wasn’t a pretty moment, but there’s nothing one can’t fix. So all the gorgeous concert pictures you will see here, don’t belong to me but to the talented Dominik Plüss, who kindly gave me permission to publish his snaps for the sake of this blogpost.

I loved being invited over during the songwriter night, which had Jack Savoretti as the opening, and George Ezra as the main act. I saw Jack many times already, I know he would wrap all the people at their gorgeous, candle lit club tables around his little finger – that being said, I was curious to hear George Ezra for the first time because of the obvious super praised hit “Budapest” a while back.


As expected, Jack Savoretti did not disappioint at all. He brought warmth and energy into the room from the very first minute, with his voice and beautiful presence. And with his band all together, they’re a powerhouse! On every stage I’ve witnessed so far, they are a great team and that’s the vibe you want in the first place for a great show, if you ask me. It is also amazing to see every year how the artists get touched by playing in such an intimate setting. Jack seemed to be surprised to get a great response by the audience, acting a little like the frontman of a newbie band who finally gets the first big gig of his life… I mean, come on Jack darling, you are great and the audience at Baloise giving back the love for your music clearly had to come! He played a great setlist, including well established pieces as “Written in Scars” “Knock Knock” and “Breaking the Rules” (one of my all time favourite), and as well songs from his most recent album “Sleep no more”. Sometimes I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that the guy almost quit his music career – I think we all agree here that we’re glad he did not! We all loved every second of this opening concert, and even more the fact to be able to experience this amazing songwriter in the legendary Baloise Session setting.


A little veil of disappointment came up by seeing George Ezra live. The guy has a great humour, and in fact was able to bring us closer to the stories behind his songs written in Barcelona, and how the process of moving and working there as an artist was. You can clearly sense immediately that the guy is a storyteller by nature, and I wouldn’t mind to listen to all of the tales in a classic british pub setting, for real. It would be a guaranteed blast. His voice is unique and so are his pieces, but the concert itself had very little moments that brought the public to be overwhelmed. After the audience had been pumped up and ready to continue into a well started evening, the main gig sadly had a spark missing. I thought it was my personal impression in the beginning, but it got confirmed by talking to several concert visitors after the show. The only moment where a little firework turned on and people finally threw their hands in the air was, you know it, when “Budapest” was played along with “Cassy’o” and “Shotgun” during the encore. The whole show was set up perfectly and the performance was great. We might didn’t get the most perfect atmosphere, or maybe we even sensed George being a little nervous. In any case, I hope for a revenge and to see him live again to make up my mind a little.


Needless to say, Baloise Session nailed again this winter season by bringing out an outstanding line up in one of the most beautiful indoor festival settings. This was my 4th year in a row and I never get tired of it. This time especially, they nailed it by bringing on stage in such a small setting Ms Lauryn Hill.


I only made it to one evening this time, but it is still one of my favourite musical experiences of the year. I can’t wait for the artist disclosure for 2019, so once again, I would like to thank you Baloise Session for inviting me and Hotel Euler for being my home in Basel during this wonderful weekend.

Baloise Session will take place from to 2019. More infos can be found here.  

All photos are courtesy of Dominik Plüss

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