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.
I have to admit, I am a fan of traditions. They were never planned, but they slowly but surely snake in during my travel adventures the past ten years I guess. One of them for sure how I open up my very own festival season, it’s as easy as going out and buy a cup of coffee on my way out in the morning by now, it does not require any big planning or effort, clicking on various “Book Now” buttons is more than enough. This past May, as every other year, was my month and THE month – I mean, come on, the summer breeze overcomes most places already, my bags for Amsterdam are packed and my birthday is another sweet add on, can it get any better than that?
During my 10+ years spent in and out of Switzerland at different festivals and music venues, I think I got a pretty decent overview, especially when it comes to Europe. I don’t know it all, I still have a ton of events on my bucket list, but I’ve certainly encountered some interesting settings along the way. There were places I visited once and festivals I go back every year, for their uniqueness in terms of line up, scenery and organization. April means we can surely start to say goodbye to the winter chills and welcome some sun on our faces, but April also means that Zermatt closes the iced up season with a bang.
On my second night strolling around Basel, everything was buzzing a little more: the quiet of the week before was replaced by the Autumn’s Fair flashing lights and the horrendously loud remixes of pop songs turned into EDM nightmares. Sorry, had to add that. Fortunately for me, Basel embraced me for another reason: my second evening at Baloise Session. After a dance to electro swing and 80s synthie, now it was the case of long awaited Indie Sounds night, starring two completely different bands: BOY and Kaiser Chiefs.
On the second festival day we had way more time to enjoy everything slowly in Zermatt. We decided to go uphill to the highest event stage located on 3030m over the sea level to hear some fine jazz and face fully to the sun shining down. And who had known… later on I would be very amazed by an artist I should have heard about a long long time already.
Sometimes it really happens (shock!), I don’t need to travel far out of town to join in for a music festival. It’s kind of surreal for me just to be able to get to the venue in nearly 20 minutes: while the most festivals are happening spread all over the country, this time everything was concentrated in the middle of my hometown Zurich. And as I could see during these two days, the M4Music certainly is one of the most influencing festivals in this part of the country.
April is a buzzing month, because slowly but surely, I’m able to wake up from my brief festival hibernation of three months and stick my ears wherever I can in order to enjoy familiar tunes plus discover some surprising new ones. Gosh, how I missed that! And what’s the best thing to open this year’s festival season properly? Exactly, heading on top of the mountain, for the awaited Zermatt Unplugged.
If I have to do a little retrospective about my personal 2015, it would be quite hard to decide what hits my own top 5. I lost the count of how many flights took me all over the planet and I have too many experiences still floating around in my head. In terms of travelling, I think I can put everything in one big pot, because I was never disappointed of the places I chose to see. When it comes to all the musical events I’ve been to, I can be only super grateful either: I’ve seen as many festivals and live acts like never before, and it’s very easy for me to make a choice of my favourite events.
Switzerland offers a great variety of festivals all year round. Clearly they prevale during summertime, but there are some great events to join in combination with a weekend out of your hometown during the colder months as well. This year, the festival playground gets richer with one more baby: Polaris Festival, Edition No.1.