What’s on: Five things to do in Switzerland this weekend

Not sure what to do in Switzerland this weekend? From the world's biggest techno festival to a modern art exhibition. Switzerland has a lot on offer.

What's on: Five things to do in Switzerland this weekend
Zurich's Street Parade is on this weekend Photo:

Here are five events taking place in Switzerland this weekend:

1. Zurich’s techno parade, Zurich

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Zurich's Street Parade is one of the world's biggest techno parties, with around a million people a year taking part. Held this Saturday August 10th.

It all kicks off at 1pm and ends around midnight – although the after parties will be carrying on long into Sunday. More information here, or visit the official site here.

2. Buskers Bern Street Music Festival, Altstadt Bern

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The Buskers Festival has been taking place all over the world for over 30 years. Held outdoors in the old town of Bern, visitors can walk around and enjoy a range of cultural performances. Street artists performing include musicians, dancers, comedy groups, puppet theatre groups, artist and more. 

The first Buskers Bern Street Music Festival was held in 2004. Since then, every year, the Old Town of Bern hosts over 150 performing artists and attractmore than 70,000 fans to the festival every year.

Visitors are encouraged to support street performers with donations on the spot by throwing money into their hats. More information here.

3.  Art Gathering, La Plage des Six-Pompes

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The “Plage des Six-Pompes“ is the largest arts gathering in Switzerland. It attracts almost 100,000 visitors over seven days. The event is on this Saturday and there are over 50 performing groups and over 500 volunteers. Taking place in the historic town center of La Chaux-de-Fonds, the event is a meeting place for people from all over Switzerland. More information here.

4. Alpine Cycling Festival, Crans Montana

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This Alpine cycling festival takes place in Crans-Montana. From Thursday to Sunday, entertainment, exhibitions, tests, workshops, demonstrations, and concerts will take place for cycling enthusiasts and their families. There will be a free shuttle bus for participants after a cycling race between Verbier and Crans-Montana. More information here.

5. Jürg Stäuble: Minimal and Conceptual art exhibition, Nairs

For lovers of modern conceptual art, Jürg Stäuble work is on display. The artist has been developing a sculptural work since the 1970s. The exhibition includes works with fabrics, sheets, cardboard, mirrors or Styrofoam. In Nairs, Jürg Stäuble shows drawings from four decades and combines them with new space-related works. More information here.



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Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’

Faced with the possibility that Swiss authorities will authorise gatherings of over 1,000 people from October 1st, health officials say the measure may spark the second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Allowing large gatherings in Switzerland ‘poses a significant risk’
Crowds of 1,000 people might be allowed from October 1st. Photo by AFP

The government announced last week that over 1,000 people will be allowed to get together from October 1st. The decision was made based on the “needs of society and the economic interests of sports clubs and cultural venues”. 

The current limit is 300.

Authorities did say that “strict protective measures will apply and the events will have to be authorised by the cantons, taking into account the local epidemiological situation and their contact tracing capacity”.

However, some health officials are sounding the alarm about the risks involved in allowing such a large number of people to congregate in one place while the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet under control.

“We are seeing a slow but inexorable increase in infections and outbreaks in Switzerland,” Philippe Eggimann, president of the Medical Society of French-Speaking Switzerland said in an interview with La Liberté newspaper. 

“It is not reasonable to open the way for more transmission opportunities,” he added.

READ MORE: 'We're on a dangerous slope': Swiss officials fear more Covid-19 cases as seasons change 

According to Eggimann, lifting the restriction on large assemblies would make it harder to trace contacts in the event of coronavirus infections, therefore “encouraging a second wave”.

He also noted that the re-opening of schools and the return from vacation will increase social interactions, and with it, the risk of exposure to the virus.

“In this context, allowing crowds of 1,000 people is a significant risk. It would have been safer to watch how things develop and only then make decisions,” he noted.

The warning comes as the number of Covid-19 infections in Switzerland became the highest since the worst of the pandemic in April.

The number of daily cases so far in August has exceeded 200 a day, rising nearly twofold from previous weeks.

That is a substantial surge from the month of June, when the count for daily cases was in the low two-digits.