Music & Film Festivals in Switzerland
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Even though the Swiss are not generally considered to be festive, music festivals are an exception. Such festivals usually take place in the summer and attract people from all over the country.

For classical music, the most famous is the Lucerne festival. The city built a brand new auditorium for the festival. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvelle, the building on the lakeshore can be seen from everywhere in the city. Every year, thousands of people come to Lucerne to hear the best interpretation of the moment, and the contagious festive atmosphere spreads throughout the city.

Since its beginnings as a three-day event in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become a stupendous 16-day affair, headlined by jazz, blues, rock, world-music and soul luminaries such as George Benson, Maria Bethania, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Etta James, Quincy Jones, B. B. King, Oscar Peterson and Sting. Festival founder Claude Nobs created an event that was to become one of the most important festivals of all, with a unique and eclectic musical reputation. Every year, up to 200,000 visitors attend the Festival at the prestigious Auditorium Stravinski and in the festive atmosphere of the Miles Davis Hall, or enjoy the numerous free concerts at the Festival- Off that are held from one end of Montreux to the other. The lake plays its due part as well, being host to the Bahia Boat, where Brazilian music lovers can enjoy the one and only “carnival on water.” And then a week later, “little bro,” the Memphis Boat, offers a slightly “jazzier” cruise. As for the Montreux Jazz Café, it is the place to spend the last hours of the night in an avant-garde atmosphere. Internationally renowned DJs light up the place every evening, partying until dawn.

Locarno, where the Cinema has been celebrated for fifty years, lies on the shores of Lake Maggiore in southern Switzerland (the Ticino Canton). Although at the foot of the Alps, it enjoys a pleasant, Mediterranean climate. Locarno has long attracted political and cultural personalities from across Europe. The Locarno International Film Festival upholds the city's tradition as a meeting place for people from all over the world. Traditionally devoted to the promotion of new filmmakers and new movements, the Festival has contributed to showcasing or confirming directors who are currently enjoying wide recognition. The event draws 150,000 viewers each year.

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