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Rylsee designs the poster for the 58th Montreux Jazz Festival

Playful and teeming with details, the street art poster by Geneva artist Rylsee captures the excitement of a wild night at the Montreux Jazz Festival. At the heart of the poster: festival-goers and their adventures, whether festive, romantic, comical, hallucinatory or subversive.

poster 2024 rylsee

The 58th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival will be a special one, as it reinvents itself outside the walls of the Convention Centre. In this unusual context, Rylsee has imagined its own Festival architecture with multiple levels of interpretation, centred around the initials ‘MJF’ that cleverly provide the foundation for stages, balconies, terraces and staircases. A closer look reveals the iconic imagery of Montreux – the lake, quays, palaces and palm trees – and above all, hundreds of festivalgoers and just as many fantastic stories.

« I see Montreux Jazz Festival as a kind of ephemeral city. It’s built up over a few weeks and doesn’t exist for the rest of the year. Suddenly, it’s full of people, all of whom have experiences that are often more intense in one evening than in a whole year. And then, finally, it’s all gone. We’re left with our shared memories and dreams. »

Rylsee

A Berlin-based artist from Geneva, Rylsee is a keen observer of MJF, which he experienced both by attending the festival and by accompanying his father, a former festival employee, behind the scenes. In almost 60 years of poster work in Montreux, he is the first to focus on the attendees and the way the iconic festival takes over the town. The focal point of the design is the myriad of characters enjoying the event and their various adventures – whether they are euphoric, romantic, family-oriented, comical, hallucinatory, or even a little subversive.

DAILY FESTIVAL SCENES

Each glance at the poster reveals new stories, references and amusing details. In a “Where’s Waldo” fashion, Rylsee has populated his poster with scenes from the daily life of the Festival: children on their parents’ shoulders, duck breast sandwich eaters, collective selfies, unicorn swims, table dances, pogos, glasses spilled on the DJ’s turntables, falls down the stairs, and much more.

poster 2024 rylsee

“I’ve always loved drawing imaginary towns and inventing stories for them. That’s what I wanted to apply to the Festival’s image. What you remember about an evening in Montreux is the music, but it’s also, above all, the moments of sharing and celebration, the encounters, the laughter and even the tears. I wanted to illustrate this popular, lively and human aspect.»

Rylsee

EMBLEMATIC POSTERS SINCE 1967

Rylsee’s poster is full of easter eggs, including dedications to his family and friends, and references to his style and previous work. These include a reference to his own poster and a tribute to three other, iconic Montreux posters by Keith Haring, Nikki de Saint Phalle and Malika Favre (in the stairwell of the letter ‘J’).

Since 1967, the festival has given Swiss and international artists carte blanche to design its official poster. In 1982, Jean Tinguely left his indelible mark that has become the festival’s recognisable logo. Keith Haring designed three variations in 1983, then teamed up with Andy Warhol in 1986. David Bowie got in on the act in 1995, as did Yoann Lemoine (Woodkid), Malika Favre, Christian Marclay, Ignasi Monreal, JR and Camille Walala more recently.

ABOUT RYLSEE

The Berlin based Swiss Artist has developed his reputation and skills through diverse forms of art. Ranging from graffiti, graphic design, hand lettering, and an avant-garde approach to typography. Inspired by moments of everyday life, the city and the passion for skateboarding, laced to the desire to make people smile.

ryslee poster 2024
© Luthor

MONTREUX JAZZ SHOP

  • T-shirt

    T-Shirt Vintage Montreux Jazz Festival

    The Festival’s first logo comes from Hamish Grimes’s typographical poster “lets the sunshine in”: a symbol of peace and love as the Vietnam War raged on.

    t shirt shop
  • housing

    Deckchair Montreux Jazz Festival

    Did you know? The hand lettering “Montreux Jazz Festival”, typical of Jean Tinguely – creator of the 1982 poster – will be slightly reworked by Pierre Keller to become the iconic new logo of the Festival.

    Transat