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Paléo Festival revamp pays off amid ‘epic’ return

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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Paléo fest set for biggest revamp in 30 years

Switzerland’s Paléo Festival is undergoing its biggest makeover in more than three decades ahead of its 2022 comeback, booker Dany Hassenstein tells IQ.

The 30,000-cap Nyon event, which sold out in record time, returns from 19-24 July for its first edition since 2019. Kiss, Sting, DJ Snake, Stromae and Rag’n’Bone Man are among acts on the bill.

Organisers consider this year to be a major turning point in Paléo’s history due to the introduction of a raft of features including new stages, blockchain ticketing and a cashless payment system. Due in part to the installation of the NStCM railway depot, it will also see the most significant alteration to the long-running festival’s layout since it moved from the lakefront to Plaine de l’Asse more than 30 years ago.

“The major boost to undertake all these changes came from our audience last December when we sold all the tickets for the 2022 event within a record-breaking time”

“With all the changes we have on track, it will be the biggest reshaping of the festival since 1990,” says Hassenstein, speaking to IQ. “Some were planned already for 2020 and some have been invented and planned during the pandemic-related break. Not only it will improve the festival experience for our customers, the process of innovating and developing new project was also vital for the team to get through this terrible period.

“But the major boost to undertake all these changes came from our audience last December when we sold all the tickets for the 2022 event within a record-breaking time. It not only massively reduced some financial uncertainties; this incredible loyalty of our audience also gave us the last kick to prepare a return at the hight of their expectation.”

In addition, the former Arches and Detour stages will be replaced by two new spaces: the Vega stage and the electronic music-focused Belleville venue.

Tickets will be delivered via the Paléo Tickets blockchain-based mobile app, while the festival is also implementing a system of washable and returnable dishes in a bid to reduce the volume of waste and single-use. All plates, bowls, cups and jugs will be returnable as part of the event’s sustainability efforts.

 


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