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Paléo Festival revamp pays off amid ‘epic’ return

The 30,000-cap Swiss festival underwent its biggest makeover in over 30 years for its sold-out 2022 comeback

By James Hanley on 29 Jul 2022

Juliette Armanet at Paleo 2022

image © Paleo/Lionel_Flusin

Paléo Festival booker Dany Hassenstein has spoken to IQ about the revamped event‘s “epic” return, which marked a major turning point in its history.

Held from 19-24 July, the 30,000-cap event in Nyon, Switzerland hosted acts such as Kiss, Sting, DJ Snake, Stromae and Rag’n’Bone Man. Tickets for its first edition since 2019 sold out in record time last December.

“It was an epic return after the break of more than 1,000 days,” Hassenstein tells IQ. “We were sold out way in advance and the festival was a success in every aspect – satisfied visitors, artists and volunteers.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the success of our two new stages”

In what was billed as the festival’s biggest makeover in more than 30 years, organisers introduced of a raft of well-received changes for 2022 including new stages, blockchain ticketing and a cashless payment system. The former Arches and Detour stages were replaced by two new spaces: the Vega stage and the electronic music-focused Belleville venue.

“All improvements made full sense, not a single show was cancelled because of Covid and it looks like our guests were very hungry and thirsty,” smiles Hassenstein.

“We will be able to copy paste all new features to the future. In particular, we have been overwhelmed by the success of our two new stages: Véga and Belleville. We have had fantastic feedback from artists on the infrastructure and the general vibe of the 20,000-capacity Véga Stage.”

“Switzerland is having a fantastic summer”

According to Hassenstein, the only real setback of note involved the pandemic-related dropouts of a number of staff members. “The summer wave was at its peak in Switzerland when we opened the gates,” he says.

Hassenstein says Paléo’s successful comeback reflects the fortunes of the resurgent Swiss industry as a whole since returning from the Covid shutdown.

“I believe Switzerland is having a fantastic summer,” he adds. “All festivals I know are doing better than they expected at the beginning of the season.

“I know this mess-up is not over yet – indoor promoters are still facing existential challenges over the next month, but at least we can see now at festivals that the fans are ready to move forward.”

Subscribers can read IQ‘s report on the Swiss live music market here.


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