Worries in Switzerland as secret Neo-Nazi concert set to go ahead

An underground concert organised by a violent neo-Nazi organisation banned across Europe ias set to go ahead in the Swiss canton of Valais on Saturday.

Worries in Switzerland as secret Neo-Nazi concert set to go ahead
Image: Sebastian Haak / dpa / AFP

The Edelweiss Concert, which features bands from across the right-wing extremist scene, is being organised by members of the militant, far-right Blood and Honour music network. 

A flyer promoting the concert has been doing the rounds in far-right circles across Switzerland and Europe. 

The flyer, which shows the Matterhorn in the background, does not provide a location for the concert but requires attendees to register their email addresses, before being informed of the location closer to the event. 

READ: Switzerland's SBB suspends 'neo-Nazi' transport police officer for extremist views

The flyer asks attendees not to share pictures of it through WhatsApp or Twitter. 

‘Blood and Honour’

Blood and Honour, founded in England in the 1980s, brings together far-right bands and record labels to organise events raising money for extremist causes. 

Blood and Honour is banned in Germany, Spain and Russia, while it is designated as a terrorist organisation by the Canadian government. 

Three bands are listed as headliners for the event, all of whom have been active for years in the Neo-Nazi music scene. 

Image: Sebastian Haak / dpa / AFP

No police intervention?

Police have been made aware of the concert and are classifying it as “problematic”. Police have told Swiss media they are currently working with local authorities to ensure the population is aware of the threat. 

“In general, Swiss security services take violent extremism very seriously,” a police representative told Swiss newspaper Watson

While the police said they have investigated ways of cancelling or moving the concert, protections on freedom of expression prevent its prohibition. 

The police also indicated they have considered banning foreigners entering the country for the purpose of attending the event, although they would not reveal whether any such bans had already been imposed. 

The concert is said to be the biggest far-right music festival held in Switzerland since 2016’s Rocktoberfest, held in Unterwasser in St Gallen. 

That event attracted over 5,000 Neo-Nazis from across Europe, raising money for the National Socialist Underground organisation in the German state of Thuringia. WOZ reports that the money raised from the concert was used for buying weapons and ammunition for the organisation, as well as to facilitate its expansion. 

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Beyoncé includes Zurich date on world tour

American singer and songwriter Beyoncé is planning to appear in Zurich this summer as part of The Formation World Tour announced at the end of her Super Bowl half time show on Sunday.

Beyoncé includes Zurich date on world tour
Beyoncé at Super Bowl 50. Photo: Matt Cowan/Getty Images North America/AFP

The pop star is set to perform at the Letzigrund stadium on July 14th as part of the European leg of her 40-date tour, slated to start in the US in late April.

The European leg starts in the UK on June 28th in Sunderland and includes gigs in London, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris and Stockholm, among other cities.

The announcement of the singer's tour follows the launch of her surprise new song 'Formation', which her PR-savvy team released just ahead of her widely-cheered performance at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday night in Santa Clara, California. 

Dressed in a leotard and wearing plenty of leather, she wowed the crowds at the annual championship NFL football game, one of the biggest events of the year in US sport, which this time saw the Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers 24-10.

Pre-sale tickets for Beyoncé’s tour go on sale on February 9th, while the regular sale of tickets for the Zurich concert will be available on February 22nd.

Beyoncé’s world tour follows one announced a few weeks ago by Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, who is planning a November 17th appearance at Zurich’s Hallenstadion.

Bieber’s Purpose World Tour features 112 dates, including 48 in Europe, starting in March in Seattle.

Beyoncé last performed in Switzerland in May 2013, when she performed at Zurich’s Hallenstadion as part of another world tour.