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ACT Entertainment to launch new Swiss festival

Swiss promoter Act Entertainment is launching a new boutique music festival in Zurich this summer.

The Waterfront Festival will debut at the Kongresshaus Zurich from 11-20 July, when performers will include Stephan Eicher, Katie Melua. The Boss Hoss and the Gipsy Kings.

“The city of Zurich in summer, with its unrivalled ambience and international flair, is predestined for a great music festival. And I can’t think of a better place for it than the Kongresshaus with the lake literally on its doorstep,” says Act Entertainment CEO Thomas Dürr. “At the Kongresshaus, we have exactly the right platform for a boutique festival, which is becoming increasingly popular with music lovers.”

The event became a reality after Dürr approached new Kongresshaus CEO Michel Loris-Melikoff with his idea of a festival on the Lake Zurich waterfront, after which it is named.

“We have all the prerequisites for a cool festival with 1,500 visitors”

“When Thomas Dürr came to me and said he wanted to organise a new festival in July, preferably at our venue, I didn’t have to think twice,” says Loris-Melikoff. “Music is close to my heart anyway, and in the Kongresshaus we have all the prerequisites for a cool festival with 1,500 visitors.”

Day tickets start at CHF67.20 (€69.80), with further acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

Other events organised in Switzerland by CTS Eventim-backed ACT include Interlaken’s the Greenfield Festival, which will be headlined by Green Day, Bring Me the Horizon and The Prodigy between 13-15 June. Artists such as Sum 41, Machine Head, Babymetal, Dropkick Murphys, Kraftklub and The Interrupters will also feature on the bill.


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Switzerland is prosperous, politically neutral and stands outside of the EU, a wealthy, land-locked island in the middle of Europe. But in its highly active live business, it is certainly not insulated from competition, external or otherwise.

Take the case of the Hallenstadion, Zürich’s 15,000-capacity former Vélodrome, and Switzerland’s most popular arena destination for major incoming touring acts. Until 2013, the venue was booked exclusively by Good News – then the unchallenged market leader. These days, it’s open to all, as everyone knows, but here’s the point: Hallenstadion director Felix Frei estimates that the arena now routinely takes bookings from ten or 15 promoters.

“We have a much broader base of promoters in music than before,” says Frei. “We have more concerts but, on average, less attendance. The reason seems to be a really, really strong music market here. Artists are playing five, six, seven times in Switzerland and we can feel that.”

“You travel through Switzerland in the summer and basically in every town you have a music event”

Out in the fresh Swiss air too, where it has been joked that every field has its own festival, the open-air market is bulging at the seams. Something like 300 events battle for the attention of fewer than 8.5m Swiss, plus musical tourists.

“I think it’s great for the audience,” says Dany Hassenstein, booker at Paléo in Nyon, which has sold out in advance for 16 years in a row. “You travel through Switzerland in the summer and basically in every town you have a music event. It’s great for people who love music.”

Read the rest of this feature in IQ 72:


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