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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The event, a mainstay of the Swiss festival scene, was able to go ahead with local talent and a reduced capacity of 10,000 people a day
By Jon Chapple on 26 Aug 2021
Organisers of Switzerland’s OpenAir Gampel have hailed the staff, artists and fans who made it possible for the festival to celebrate its 35th edition in challenging circumstances last weekend.
The festival, which was forced to cancel its 2020 edition, welcomed the legal limit of 10,000 festivalgoers a day – just under a third of its usual capacity of 33,000 – from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August, as well as more than 25 live acts and 50 DJs, all of whom (with the exception of Swiss citizen Jeremy Loops, who was born in South Africa) are from Switzerland, Germany or Austria.
In a statement, Rock Hock Verein says it is “extremely happy about the successful event and draw a very positive [conclusion].” “Not only the numerous musical highlights and the perfect weather,” continues the promoter, “but above all the overwhelming gratitude of the audience, the artists and everyone working behind the scenes.”
In addition to the reducing the capacity and booking only local artists, Rock Hock Verein also shrunk the physical size of the festival site by around 100 metres to comply with the guidelines in the canton of Valais, where Gampel is located.
Four people were given a voucher for the 2022 festival after testing positive for Covid-19
Performers included headliners Jan Delay and Disko No. 1 (the Germans delivering “probably one of the best concerts in the history of Gampel”, according to organisers), Parov Stelar and Fritz Kalkbrenner, as well as Swiss artists such as Besides Lo and Leduc, Faber, Loco Escrito, Dabu Fanstatic, Mimiks and 77 Bombay Street.
Only those who could certify their Covid-19 status were allowed on site, and 88% of visitors were ready with their certificate at the gates. The remaining 12% of festivalgoers were tested on site, with all but four people testing negative. (Those four were given a voucher for the 2022 edition of OpenAir Gampel.)
OpenAir Gampel will return at full capacity next year (18–21 August 2022), with international artists booked by Derrick Thomson at Mainland Music.
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