Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz festival to livestream future events

The Montreux Jazz Festival, which was forced to cancel last year's edition due to the pandemic, said Tuesday it was moving towards a hybrid model, including livestreaming concerts.

Switzerland's Montreux Jazz festival to livestream future events
A photograph taken in Montreux shows a statue of Queen's late singer Freddie Mercury wearing a protective face mask.Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Organisers said they had reached a deal with Qello Concerts by Stingray for livestreaming, allowing live events and digital projects to be combined.

“Streaming is a crucial medium for securing the continued success of the festival: if people can't come to the Festival, we will bring it to them,” said Nicolas Bonard, head of Montreux Media Ventures.

They are also creating a new brand, MJF Spotlight, dedicated to promoting emerging talent through digital content.

Taking place in the idyllic Swiss town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva, the summer event has over the past half century become a magnet for big names and rising stars.

The jazz label has been retained despite an  expanding repertoire over the years, bringing in the likes of Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, Deep Purple, Prince and Nick Cave.

The festival had already in 2019 begun moving towards more of a hybrid model with increased focus on digital content.

But that strategy was accelerated significantly by the Covid crisis, which forced the first cancellation in the festival's history.

Lionel Richie, Brittany Howard, Lenny Kravitz and Black Pumas were among the artists who had been booked for last year.

However the festival “continued to keep its lights on”, organisers said, pointing to several initiatives including the free online publication of 50 legendary concerts.

The programme for this year's festival, expected to take place July 2-17, will be published in coming weeks.

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Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s tax deadline is just around the corner. Are Covid-related costs tax deductible?

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

March 31st is the deadline for filing taxes in Switzerland relating to the 2021 financial year. 

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic has seen a change in our spending habits. 

While we may have saved on restaurants and travel, we laid out considerable costs on a range of new expenses, including disinfectant, masks and Covid tests. 

As some of these costs are required by law, can they be deducted from your tax?

In some cases, expenses directly related to the Covid pandemic can be deducted. 

Masks, for instance, can be deducted as medical expenses in some cantons, Swiss tax specialist Markus Stoll told 20 Minutes

This depends on the specific framework for tax deductions related to medical expenses in that canton. 

EXPLAINED: What can I deduct from my tax bill in Switzerland?

Generally speaking, any medical costs paid out of pocket can be deducted. However, most cantons impose a minimum percentage limit from which these costs can be deducted. 

In many cantons, this will start at five percent of your yearly income in total (i.e. including other out-of-pocket costs like dental or specialist visits), meaning you would need to purchase a significant amount of masks to beat the threshold. 

What about testing and vaccination?

Testing and vaccinations however were largely free as their costs were covered by the Swiss government, which means associated expenses cannot be deducted. 

Those tests which were not covered by the government – for instance for travel abroad or for visiting clubs – cannot be deducted, Stoll says. 

“Tests for travel abroad or to visit clubs are not deductible” Stoll said. 

For a complete overview of taxation in Switzerland, including several specific guides, please check out our tax-specific page here.