Fribourg Jazz Parade officially bankrupt

The Jazz Parade in Marly, canton of Fribourg, whose 26th edition was cancelled in July due to heavy rains and “internal problems”, has been declared bankrupt.

Fribourg Jazz Parade officially bankrupt
The Jazz festival had accumulated significant debts. Photo: Link-Art/Francois Gendre

The Jazz Parade filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of August, which was granted by a court in Sarine earlier this week, its spokesperson Isabelle Théron told the SDA news agency on Friday.

After the cancellation of the 2014 festival, due to run from July 3rd to 12th, “there was no other solution,” she said.

The parade had accumulated significant debts over its 25-year history, said Théron, the size of which was difficult to estimate.

Created by Jean-Claude Henguely, the Jazz Parade – which runs at a similar time to the much better known Montreux Jazz Festival – attracted around 35,000 spectators annually to watch performances by local and international jazz artists.

Originally staged in the centre of Fribourg, it was moved to a site in the suburb of Marly last year after disputes between Henguely and residents and a restructuring of its organizing committee.

Free to attend until 2006, it increasingly suffered from financial problems and in 2008 was granted a stay of bankruptcy after accumulating debts of half a million francs.

Internal organizational issues compounded the problems. This year’s event was cancelled after the Sarine authorities withdrew authorization, saying that basic security issues had not been addressed.

Heavy rain leading to flooding at the Marly site also contributed to the cancellation.

Festival organizers placed the blame squarely at the feet of Henguely, who was subsequently sacked.

Quoted by SDA, Henguely denied he was to blame, saying he was “simply an employee, with no responsibility for financial matters.”

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Basel Tattoo: What you need to know about Switzerland’s biggest military music festival

Basel Tattoo kicks off today, running until 20 July in the north-western Swiss city. But what is it? And why do Scottish bagpipers show up every year?

Basel Tattoo: What you need to know about Switzerland’s biggest military music festival
Photo: Basel Tattoo
What is it? 
Basel Tattoo is a show and parade bringing together military music bands from around the world.
How did it start? 
Organizers had the idea for the event after a Basel-based military band performed several times at the Edinburgh Tattoo, the world’s most famous event of its kind. The first edition of Basel Tattoo was held in 2006, attracting an impressive 38,000 people to the courtyard of a military barracks in Kleinbasel.  
So it’s a big deal? 
It is now. These days it’s sponsored by the Swiss federal defense department and over the years has become bigger and bolder, attracting more than one million spectators over all its shows. More than 60,000 tickets have been sold to this year's shows so far.
What happens during the Tattoo? 
The daily two-hour show includes around 1,000 participants from all over the world. This year’s event features the Hellenic Navy Band from Greece, dancers and acrobats from China, a police motorcycle acrobatic troupe from Germany and a Dutch orchestra. And of course, given its Scottish links, spectators will also enjoy music from ‘bagrock’ band the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the International Highland Dancers and The Massed Pipes and Drums, a marching band formed of 200 players from around the world, an annual highlight of the show. Add to that an appearance from America’s Got Talent contestant Johnny Manuel and you can’t say Basel Tattoo doesn’t offer something for everyone. 
Photo: Basel Tattoo
What else goes on? 
Each year the Tattoo also stages a parade through the streets of Basel, featuring the international marching bands who are part of The Massed Pipes and Drums, along with other groups. This year’s parade takes place on Saturday 13 July from 2pm and includes pipers and drummers from New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the UK, South Africa, Canada and several other countries, as well as local groups from Basel and elsewhere in Switzerland.
Worth a visit? 
Absolutely, though you’ll be one of a large crowd – some 120,000 spectators are expected to turn out for the parade. After all, Basel residents are quite partial to a spot of marching – each year there are several parades as part of the Fasnacht festival, when people even drag themselves out of bed at 4am for a night-time parade. 
Anything else going on? 
Kids will love paying a visit to the military barracks on 20 July for the Children’s Day, when they can meet some of the pipers and dancers, ask questions and try out musical instruments. Best of all, it’s free.
How do I buy tickets for the show?
Find out more about the event and buy your tickets here.