A deposit system led to the vast majority of cups being returned and tents taken home, while food concessions adhered to environmentally friendly guidelines
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Rain and mud failed to put a dampener on the 41st OpenAir St Gallen, with Biffy Clyro, Bastille and alt-J providing the entertainment for an "incredible" weekend
By Jon Chapple on 05 Jul 2017
A total of 107,000 people attended last weekend’s OpenAir St Gallen, with organisers praising the festival’s “euphoric and peaceful experience” in spite of the challenges posed by wet weather.
Festivalgoers took the muddy conditions in their stride – the hashtag #schlammgallen (#mudgallen) was trending through the weekend – with 20,000 people visiting the Swiss festival on Thursday 29 June and 29,000 each day on Friday, Saturday and Saturday.
It is the first year since 2011 OpenAir has failed to reach capacity, although Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten attributes the slight drop in attendance (there were reportedly about 1,000 tickets unsold) to rumours the festival was already sold out.
Festival promoter Christof Huber says he “takes off [his] hat to our incredible audience, who made the festival a real highlight despite the rain and cold temperatures”.
“Despite cold and rainy weather conditions, the event was an euphoric but peaceful experience”
New for 2017 was the Campfire stage – which, true to its name, hosted local artists including Silas Kutschmann, Emanuel Reiter and Turtur in a small (~150-cap.) campfire setting – an expanded Plaza area featuring “food, design and street culture” and several new other food and drink options.
For the second year running, the festival also partnered with Zurich-based nonprofit myclimate to minimise the environmental impact of its food offering. Other eco-friendly achievements included 91% of reusable cups being recycled and 89% of tents taken home, underlining what OpenAir calls its “[well] known efforts in sustainability”.
Headliners were Biffy Clyro, Bastille, Justice, alt-J and German punks Die Toten Hosen, with other performers including Lorde, Glass Animals, Cage the Elephant and Confidence Man.
OpenAir St Gallen will return on 28 June–1 July 2018.
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