Summer is fully upon us here in Chamonix and just because we’ve decided to sequester ourselves in at the far end of a lovely alpine valley doesn’t mean we have to forego some of the better things in life. Like summer music festivals, for instance. And while we may not be able to splash around in the mud with tens of thousands of other freaks right here in our own valley, there’s still plenty to choose from in and around the area. Listed below is just a sampling of what’s on offer.
43rd Montreux Jazz Festival
The mack daddy of summer festivals, in this area anyway, Montreux continues its tradition of top acts with Underworld, Mos Def, Herbie Hancock & Lang Lang, Black Eyed Peas, Klaxon, Lily Allen, Steve Winwood, Q-Tip, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang, Madeleine Peyroux, The Swedish ACT All-Stars, Simian Mobile Disco among many, many, many others. Can’t afford to shell out €45 for a ticket? Then check out up-and-coming acts in the Montreux Jazz Café, the all-star DJs at the MDH Club or mellow house at Studio 41/Cocktail Garden, all of which are free. You can also take your party to the high seas on any of the Salsa, Brazil or Flamenco boats. There’s entirely too much to mention so just go to montreuxjazz.com and have a poke around. Rest assured there’s something for all tastes and all budgets.
Aix Les Bains, France
Can’t get tickets for that Birdy Nam Nam show at Montreux Jazz Fest? Don’t let it ruin your summer because you’ve got a second chance to see them at Musilac in Aix les Bains which runs from 10-12 July. Other acts include Prodigy, Gossip, Ghinzu, The Pretenders, Keziah Jones, Franz Ferdinand, Duffy, The Kooks, The Dodoz and Coming Soon.
According to their website, “The Festival takes place on the wooded Gurten hilltop, a venue which is considered one of the most scenic in all of Switzerland.” Franz Ferdinand, Röyksopp, Tricky, Dropkick Murphys, Juliette Lewis, Travis, Friendly Fires, Bloc Party, Oasis, King of Leon are on the stages while a full lineup of DJs will be rockin the three, count ‘em, three, dance tents from 14:00 til 5:00 each day except Sunday when at 22:15 they kindly ask everyone to please go the fuck home already.
Paléo Festival Nyon
After more than 30 years of rockin’ summer nights it’s safe to say that Paléo Nyon has the festival thing wired pretty tight. To wit, ths year’s Paléo will include more than 120 concerts and 227,000 music freaks on 84 hectares of land. This year’s acts include Placebo, Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy, Franz Ferdinand, The Ting Tings, Moby, 2manydjs, Pete Doherty, TV On The Radio, Tracy Chapman and Santigold (who used to be Santogold before the copyright lawyers came a-knockin’). Paléo is run by a non-profit organization that is committed to offering quality, affordable music. Ticket sales are limited to 35,000 spectators per day with passes starting at just €30 per day.