If you are an enthusiast of winter sports you can still enjoy some snow in the south of Switzerland during the month of April. The little town of Zermatt welcomes those still willing to run down the slopes and get the most out of the winter season. But not only stubborn skiers travel to Zermatt during April; artists and music lovers gather from all over the world to witness the 5-day musical experience known as Zermatt Unplugged.
New and upcoming artists as well as experienced maestros take the stage and woe their audience with their talents and energy, and the setting could hardly be any better: There are 12 big and small venues spread out in different parts of the town and on the mountainside, where the artists receive their own intimate space to interact with the audience; from small après ski outdoor stages at the mountain foot, to breathtaking stages on top of the mountain slopes and more intimate stages in town set up in various clubs. The most impressive of them all was the huge circus tent set up for the biggest concerts.
All venues, be it outdoors or in offer fantastic acoustics; an extra perk of the outdoor venues are the breath-taking views, with the iconic Matterhorn witnessing from high above. Be careful to double check where your artist is playing, as it might take some time to get from one slope to the other!
Zermatt is not the cheapest place on Earth, but Zermatt Unplugged offers various concerts also for free. This gives a great opportunity to explore new talents and names you might not have yet heard of. With beverages offered at the venues at normal prices you can really enjoy some fine tunes in a happy atmosphere. Note to make for next year: the Foyer Tent, which offers concerts at a symbolic price, also offers festival food, so don’t spend time away from the music in expensive restaurants, just grab a bite of Thai, Japanese or an awesome burger, while enjoying the music!
Last Saturday, we had the chance to experience more than 12 hours of great music on the last day of the Zermatt Unplugged festival.
Highlights included: Jamie McDowel & Tom Thum from Australia offered a very endearing and impressive hour of singing, guitar playing and beatboxing, with some original tunes of their own as well as some covers. Later in the evening at the main stage “Zeltbühne”, crowd-favorite Max Herre & Friends got the audience dancing and partying to a blend of hip-hop, funk and reggae in an exciting concert that felt too short even though it lasted for 30 minutes longer than scheduled. Suggestion for improvement for next year – please offer drinks at this venue too! After so much singing, dancing, and cheering our throats were as dry as a desert. Also playing a fantastic encore was the charismatic and talented Andrew Roachford who performed some of his most famous songs from his band Mike & the Mechanics as well as new fresh tunes from the recently released album “Encore”. Finally, at the venue “The Alex”, Jan Blomqvist & Band provided a groovy and energetic set to close the evening and the festival.
Zermatt Unplugged enthusiasts, who stuck around on Sunday, could still see a final act on the beautiful sunny terrace of the hotel Schönegg, with singer song-writer Elliane Amherd. After a week of great music and not-so-great weather, the sky finally cleared up and the Matterhorn showed itself in the background. Those with nothing better to do basked in the sunshine watching those with something better to do come down from the slopes.
Zermatt and Zermatt Unplugged offer a unique experience of symbiosis between nature and natural unplugged music, which we are looking forward to eye-witnessing next year too! As the Swiss say, Bis dann!
Special thanks to Katie_W and Abs for submitting their awesome review!
Are you also an avid music festival goer? Do you also want to have your voice heard? Then drop us a line at [email protected] and we will be more than happy to share your review with the world!
Graphics thanks to Rob Lewis and www.zermatt-unplugged.ch