Montreux Jazz Festival to make a comeback in 2021 at Lake Geneva after losing a year to the pandemic

Last year's festival had to be scrapped owing to the pandemic, the first time since it began in 1967. It will be a 'more intimate' event this time around, the statement released by the organisers of the festival said.

Agence France-Presse April 01, 2021 19:29:10 IST
Montreux Jazz Festival to make a comeback in 2021 at Lake Geneva after losing a year to the pandemic

English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist James Blake performs during the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 4, 2019, in Montreux. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The renowned Montreux Jazz Festival will go ahead in July despite the coronavirus pandemic, but will take place in part outdoors on the waters of Switzerland's Lake Geneva, organisers said on Wednesday.

The festival's 55th edition is scheduled for 2-17 July in a format that "can be adjusted and adapted based on the COVID-19 situation", a statement issued by the organisers said.

Last year's festival had to be scrapped owing to the pandemic, the first time since it began in 1967. It will be a "more intimate" event this time around, the statement said.

But the big change is to be a main stage that will be built on the lake, 25 metres (yards) from shore, in front of a "tiered terrace" or grandstand that can hold up to 600 spectators.

Two artists are to take to the stage each night, and the full programme is to be unveiled in May.

Three other stages, two of which are to be free to the public, will host concerts, jam sessions and workshops in the rooms and gardens of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel.

Another innovation is to put the festival online, continuing a transition towards a "hybrid model" that combines live events with a digital presence, according to organisers. Although its name suggests it is a jazz festival, Montreux has diversified over the years and now also features electronic music, hip-hop, R&B, pop and soul.

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