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Montreux Jazz Festival 2024 anchored anew in the heart of the city

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 23 November 2023

The Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF) has to reinvent itself for its 2024 edition. Because the congress center is being renovated, there will be a stage on the lake for the 58th edition. The festival is also returning to the casino and expanding the area along the lakeside promenade.

Montreux Jazz Festival 2024 anchored anew in the heart of the city
SWITZERLAND MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL 2023
(KEYSTONE/Valentin Flauraud)

“It’s a big change and a big challenge to have to reinvent the festival due to the construction work at the Congress Center,” said Festival Director Mathieu Jaton to the press in Montreux on Thursday. In recent years, for example, experience has been gained with the Elton John concert in the La Saussaz stadium (2019 ) and with the lake stage in 2021, “which has proven to be valuable” in order to be able to overcome the challenges now.

The heart of the 58th MJF will be the main stage on Lake Geneva. Below the Place du Marché, those responsible are planning a stage 36 meters wide that will seat 5,000 people. Of these, 600 seats will be offered in sheltered grandstands. Due to the natural slope of the stage, the MJF promises a “breathtaking view of the lake and the region as well as an exceptional concert experience”.

Jaton also described the fact that the casino will be open again next summer as a “return to the roots”. “We will return to this historic venue that we left almost 30 years ago.” Numerous legendary concerts have taken place there since 1967.

In addition to these two paid stages, the festival will have seven stages that are accessible free of charge. And: the length of the riverside promenade will be doubled compared to 2023.

For 250,000 jazz fans

With these measures, those responsible for the MJF want to ensure that 250,000 people can be accommodated as usual during the 16 days of the festival from July 5 to 20. And because the Auditorium Stravinski will be closed, they want to offer an “exceptional main stage” as a replacement.

For the upcoming “special edition” of the MJF, those responsible have worked closely with the municipal authorities, hoteliers, business people and the residents of Montreux. According to Jaton, the project was “warmly” received. However, the 58th edition will “inevitably incur costs”, he conceded. “We are trying to stay within a similar budget to previous years”, i.e. between 28 and 30 million francs.

©Keystone/SDA

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