Free venues at the Montreux Jazz Festival

We always announce the Festival lineup in two parts, because at Montreux we showcase music in all its forms. These events represent music from the heat of the afternoon to the cool of dawn. Here is our second array of performances and projects, all completely free!

Free Venues

The Rock Cave // doors open at 9 pm, first concert at 10 pm

This year the Rock Cave presents not one but two live performances per night, in a space that has been slightly enlarged in order to better enjoy a close encounter with artists of the Swiss and international kind: the Fat White Family is a grouping of six English bad boys whose smooth rock–like themselves–is tempered by a sharp edge from rougher days. Twenty-something brother act Drenge disguise their raging rock in layers of electric pop music, with a delicately torturous result that smacks of post-punk and the White Stripes. In stark contrast, the hot dreams of Timber Timbre sound like angels singing their hearts out—hearts that the Canadian crooner will be breaking non-stop with his powerful folk vocals. Also not to be missed is the elegant, rhythmic rock and melodic refrains of just-announced Brooklyn trio SKATERS. Also in the mix: TOY, The Lords of Altamont, Blues Pills and, above all, Swiss rock that never stops.

The Rock Cave program

Music in the Park // starting 1 pm

To live the summer outdoors, come to Parc Vernex starting at 1pm, whether with the family or just your main squeeze. On the green lawn, big bands from all over the world will kick things off with a bang! After the crowds have had time to sample the rich culinary offerings of the stands along the promenade, and as the evening concerts approach, Swiss and international bands proudly take the open-air stage. A veritable explosion of diversity is scheduled, mixing new discoveries and famous artists: Guillaume Cantillon “Kaolin”, Opé Smith, Maceo Parker, The Rob Ryan Rob Show, a Japan Day with huge stars from Japan Hotei et Lisa Ono, the dark-wave Zurich sound of The Beauty of Gemina, Australia’s The Jezebels, and even Ella Ronenaccompanied in sign language by specialist Laura Schwengber…

Music in the Park program

Aftershows at the Lab // starting after the concerts, until 5 am

Every night after the concerts (except 11 July) the Lab metamorphoses into a temple of electronic music, opening its doors to night owls of all descriptions. The aftershows lineups feature the hottest acts that are lighting up dance floors all over the world, including Dantom Eeprom,Nina Kraviz and Daniel Avery. Discover amazing talents likeGramatik, out of Slovenia but now operating out of Brooklyn, or Montreal’s Kaytranada. A few long-established artists will keep things on an even keel: Ellen Allien, Michael Mayer, Matias Aguayo andEtienne de Crécy.

Aftershows at the LAB program

Aftershows at the Club // starting after the concerts

The jams after the concerts at the Club prove that improvised music is alive and well at the Montreux Jazz Festival! You’ll want to keep a close eye on the mood every single night if you would like to experience the artists from the main venues and the competitions communicating with each other–and with the audience–in the language of improvisation.

The Studio // from 11 pm to 5 am

The Studio, another venue that gets people on the dance floor, has a subtle theme each night showcasing house, progressive house, and techno. This year’s surprises run the gamut from Klangkarussell, well known for their hit Sonnentanz, to the Chicago-Detroit tracks of Green Velvet and the irresistible new sound of L.A. duo Claude VonStrokeand Justin Martin. The Brodinski-esque French wave of the label Bromance will sweep you away with Monsieur Monsieur andLouisahhh!!! and MK makes a triumphant return with USA-style house-disco. An electronic smorgasbord!

The Studio program

Educational projects and Workshops

Le Chalet d’en bas // everyday starting 4 pm

This ephemeral museum brings to life the Festival’s rich cultural and technological heritage, with interactive exhibits, direct access to the concert archives, and a rock-n-roll photo exhibition. Some of the attractions include: “Other Music”, exhibition of rock photos byCatherine Ceresole; iPads and a chronological video wall displaying Festival archives footage; new technologies developed at the EPFL (Lausanne’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) such as Sound Dots–sonic umbrellas–and a 3D visual and acoustic recreation of the concert hall in the old Montreux Casino. Also on display is thewall of light designed by Cauboyz, which visitors can activate using a Wurlitzer piano. If you are thirsty for more than music, a line of gourmet lemonades is available as well. 

Workshops & Competitions // starting 1 pm

The workshops exist to continually question our relationship with music of all kinds. One of Montreux’s trademarks is to provide “alternative” venues for artists to interact with the public in an intimate afternoon setting. This year, Neil Cowley, Monty Alexander, Tigran Hamasyan, Moderat, Manu Katché and Oh! Tiger Mountain will discuss their music (and perhaps provide examples!) at the Petit Palais. A lecture series will push back the boundaries of the relationship between music and science (featuring researchers from the CHUV or CERN), cinema, and the human body. At the Montreux Palace, theMontreux Jazz Artists Foundation continues to intensify its support of young artists, organizing the famous Competitions in Voice, Piano, and Guitar. These are veritable springboards for young talents in Swiss and international jazz, with the winners earning admission to theMontreux Jazz Academy opening this autumn…and why not a gig at the Blue Note New York?

Workshops program

Swiss artists

Claude Nobs was always proud to point out how each year our local artists prove at Montreux that the Swiss music scene is truly vibrant, whether in popular music, jazz, rock, or DJing. Music in the Park, the Rock Cave, El Mundo, and the dance floors of the Studio…the Festival offers an incredible array of Swiss artists that you can’t afford to miss:Cheyenne, Forks, Lady Black Sally, Camion, Kruger, Iris Moné,The Bianca Story, Klischée & Band, Annakin, Stevans and Gustavalong with many many more!