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MUSIC

Close to a million attend Zurich’s biggest street party

Some 900,000 people attended this year’s Street Parade, the city’s biggest party and one of the world’s largest techno music events.

Close to a million attend Zurich’s biggest street party
Photo: Street Parade
Held annually in the city since 1992, the Zurich Street Parade aims to promote peace, love, liberty and tolerance, embodied this year in the theme ‘Love never ends’.
 
Revellers gathered along the two-kilometre parade route by the river Limmat in the city centre to watch the 25 ‘lovemobiles’ pass by, pumping music and peopled with costumed dancers. 
 
Eight permanent stages added to the atmosphere until the event officially closed around midnight, though after-parties continued into the night. 
 
 
Though the event was largely peaceful, skirmishes broke out later in the evening and the early hours of Sunday morning, police said
 
Overall 130 people were arrested for various offences including drug use and trafficking, violence and threats against authorities, theft, sexual harassment and counterfeiting money.
 
Those arrested were aged between 15 and 49 and of 25 different nationalities. 
 
Most of the offences were related to excessive alcohol consumption and/or drug use, police added.
 
Among those arrested were 35 drug traffickers. Police seized 570 ecstasy tablets, 110g of cannabis, 85g of cocaine and 10g of Mdma.
 
Two men were hospitalized after a fight on Bahnhofstrasse at around 9.15pm. 
 
And a 24-year-old Swiss was badly injured in an incident at St Anna-Gasse just before 1am on Sunday morning. 
 
The offenders are unknown, said police, who are seeking witnesses to the incident. 
 
However overall the number of people treated by medical personnel during the festival was lower than last year – 526 this year compared with 690 in 2016.

MUSIC

Seven Swiss music festivals you need to see this summer

Switzerland is home to a growing crop of great summer music festivals. Here is our guide to the best of the best.

Seven Swiss music festivals you need to see this summer
Billie Eilish will be performing at the Zurich Openair in August. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America/AFP

Montreux Jazz Festival

June 28th–July 13th

This is Switzerland’s most famous musical festival and one of the world’s best-known events. Headliners this year include folk legend Joan Baez and pop queen Janet Jackson while the usual diverse program features everyone from Slash (of Guns N’ Roses fame) to jazz singer Bobby McFerrin and the amazing Bon Iver. And if the high ticket prices are a turn off, the streets of Montreux are full of free music during the festival making a visit to the town worthwhile even if you aren’t visiting one of the venues.

Openair Frauenfeld

July 11th–13th

Often described as the biggest hip hop festival in Europe, the 2019 Frauenfeld music festival features Cardi B and Travis Scott. This is also Switzerland’s largest outdoor musical festival with around 150,000 attendees.

Gurtenfestival, Bern

July 17th–20th

The Gurtenfestival is Bern’s biggest and features international big names alongside the hottest acts in the Swiss music scene. This year the legendary (and elusive) Lauryn Hill and US duo Twenty One Pilots as well as Swiss stars Patent Ochsner and Lo & Leduc.

Blue Balls Festival, Lucerne

July 19th–27th

A long-running member of the Swiss summer music scene, Lucerne’s Blue Balls festival features music, art and photography exhibitions and discussion panels. Among the musical highlights this year are blues legend Keb Mo, high energy Australian ensemble The Cat Empire and German soul and R&B star Xavier Naidoo.

Paléo Festival, Nyon

July 23th–July 28th

The Paléo Festival on the shores of Lake Geneva has a lot of heart, which can always be said in these days of hyper-commercial summer music festivals. Heading up the bill in 2019 are UK indie legends The Cure, US singer Lana del Rey and French songstress Charlotte Gainsbourg. It’s not just about music though. Kids up to the age of 12 get in free and there are all sorts of activities on offer for them. There is also street theatre for young and old alike and a strong focus on supporting charitable causes.

St Gallen Open Air 

July 27th–July 30th

St Gallen’s open air is the grand old dame of Swiss music festivals. Now in its 41st year, the event sees over 100,000 people descending on the eastern Swiss city. Over the years, anyone who is anyone has played here – from the Beastie Boys to B.B. King. At the top of the bill this year are German punk legends Die Ärzte and UK Indie rock band Florence and the Machine.

Zurich Openair

August 21st–24th

Held near Zurich Airport, this star-studded festival focuses on electronica and rock music. The big names this year include dance group Swedish House Mafia, UK duo Chemical Brothers, US rapper Macklemore and none other than US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish.

Read also: Summer travel – 26 things to do in Switzerland's 26 cantons

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