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A radiant reunion in a reinvented format

Press release


Best of photos of the 56th edition


The great return of the Montreux Jazz Festival kept all its promises. In total, more than 250,000 festival-goers enjoyed the 56th edition under a radiant sky during the entire event. Following the example of the Lake House, the new free venues were taken over by the public from the very first day, validating in the best possible way the Festival’s bet to reinvent its format.

The 56th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival was filled with an extraordinary sense of enthusiasm. The public has totally embraced the new free venues created at the beginning of the year by the festival’s team, alongside returns to the lakeside quays and grand halls. Rather than recreating the same event, the Montreux Jazz Festival decided to innovate by creating new projects and placing more emphasis than ever on the festival experience.

A major new feature of this year’s festival was the Lake House, an ambitious project which aims to combine cultural and artistic experiences in the intimacy of eight rooms on three floors in the Petit Palais. From 5pm to 5am, festival-goers of all ages gathered and marveled at concert screenings in the Cinéma, listened religiously to ‘Live at Montreux’ vinyls in the Montreux Library, rediscovered the retro magic of pinball machines and jukeboxes at the Boudoir, partied at the Coupole and enjoyed jam sessions and concerts by young jazz artists at the Memphis.

Blessed by heavenly weather throughout the sixteen days of the festival, the stages on the lake reached their full idyllic potential, mixing beats and starry nights at the Ipanema and festive concerts and sunsets at the ibis MUSIC Terrace. More beautiful and welcoming than ever, the Parc Vernex hosted superb performances by emerging artists at the Super Bock Stage. The Lisztomania, now well known to the public for its on-trend programming, was packed every night. The Parallel Experiences offered a few lucky people an enchanted interlude in the breathtaking surroundings of the Caux Palace.

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The history of Festival continues to be written

To mark their visit to the Montreux Jazz Festival, many of the artists created some truly special moments, sometimes standing out completely from the rest of their tours. At the Montreux Jazz Lab, British hip-hop megastar Stormzy surprised everyone with an anthological gospel-rap performance, created specifically for the set «because it’s the Montreux Jazz Festival». Accompanied for the occasion by a six-voice choir and brass instruments, the rapper transformed himself into a crooner for the evening, playing songs he had never sung on stage before. Proof, were it needed, that the magic of the festival still works its charms on the younger generation.

During the encore of The Smile, Thom Yorke played a brand new six-minute song composed the same day at the festival. News shortly made the rounds with international media. Called «Bending Hectic», the song is part of a long tradition of musical works created in Montreux, from «Smoke on the Water» to «Under Pressure» to Prince’ «Lavaux».

At the Auditorium Stravinski, Diana Ross celebrated the very last date of her tour in Europe in Montreux. After an hour and a half show, she gave a touching finale during which she invited her whole family to join her on stage. The audience enjoyed a more human and vulnerable diva than ever. The Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert was as hectic on stage as it was backstage, with a 17-camera blockbuster capturing the performance from every angle. Just a few weeks before his appearance, the Australian gave the festival’s audiovisual production team permission to film his concert for commercial release – the only such release of his entire tour.

Off-stage, festival-goers were also able to rediscover the unique spirit of the musicians’ village, which has been a huge part of the festival’s reputation for over fifty years. Artists were seen diving into the lake, strolling along the quays, enjoying the terraces or even buying a poster in the festival boutiques. Some artists have even extended their stay out of love for the place.

Edition report: 17 concerts sold-out

With 17 concerts sold out and a fill rate of almost 85%, the event recorded one of the best attendance figures for paying venues in the last ten years. The festival estimates the number of spectators at 250,000, which is the festival’s highest ever attendance. Favored by the perfect weather and a perfectly executed redesign of the festival’s format, food and drink sales performed beyond expectations.

From the outside, this post-Covid edition looked like a return to normal. Behind the scenes, however, the festival teams faced countless challenges in terms of resources, deliveries and logistics. Not a day went by without a flight being canceled – sometimes even for major headliners for whom last-minute solutions had to be found. Despite all these constraints, the expertise and hard work of all of the festival teams made it possible to deliver a nearly complete billing of artists to the public. From more than 450 free events and 70 paying concerts, only a handful of artists had to cancel.


The festival organization would like to thank all the collaborators who made this extraordinary edition possible, as well as our staff, our partners and our service providers, the authorities, and the town of Montreux