For a few nights a year (22nd, 23rd, 24th of June) during the Fête de la Musique in Geneva the reserved city of Calvin drops its guard and opens it heart to hundreds of thousands of revellers (over 200,000 at last count) – young and old – to celebrate sounds and beats from around the world.
This free annual music festival which takes place on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of June 2018 turns the streets, courtyards and parks of the city into a massive party as a wide variety of musical acts (over 500) breathe life into spectacular historical venues around the city, including Parc des Bastions; the promenade de la Treille (oldest walkway in the city) and over 20 other venues. These include the cultural centre L’Alhambra, the beautiful Victoria Hall concert hall and the Saint-Pierre Cathedral.
The atmosphere is super chilled as head bangers party alongside classic music lovers and rappers and tango and swing dancers glide, bop and sway down the promenade Saint-Antoine…
This 27th festival is organised every year by the Ville de Geneve and is aimed at encouraging the sharing of musical traditions with the wider public – allowing everyone to experience new types of music. The music offerings are too many to choose from and are designed to please young and old. Most of the events are family-friendly.
WHAT TO SEE:
Choose your approach – either you pick a few favourite items from the programme – look at some of the highlights below – and plan accordingly or alternatively, just soak up the atmosphere as you stroll from venue to venue, stopping for a bite to eat from one of the 40 plus non-profit stands offering food from around the world and a drink from a refundable gobelet. We’ve given up on trying too hard to understand the overwhelming programme and last year ended up just strolling around and following our ears to find music and vibes we liked.
If the weather plays along, it’s one of the best evenings in the year in Geneva!
On Saturday night a colourful parade celebrating the sounds of New Orleans will lead to l’ Alhambra in the centre of town where the party will continue.
Meanwhile, the city’s forefathers at the Bastion Réformateurs will shake, rattle and roll in their foundations to the sounds of an ancient Congolese rumba – Bokola, as well as a whirlwind mix of trance jazz, polyrhythm and old school funk by a group of 13 musicians making up the L’Orage & L’éclair = La tempête at midnight on Friday.
Further highlights include various Swiss Rappers at l’Alhambra and lovers of classical music can look forward to the 50 Violoncelles de Lemancellos.
On Friday night an eclectic evening entitled: Music without borders will take place in the courtyard of the MAH including the unusual version of ethno-jazz by local quartet Zatar.
This year also look out for live dance performances and interactive dance and music activities for children.
The programme of the event will be distributed free at the following points before the event:
Espace Ville de Genève – Pont de la Machine 1
Maison des arts du Grütli – Rue du Général-Dufour 16
Cité Seniors – Rue Amat 28
During the festival look out for the members of the INFO team who will be answering questions and distributing programmes. A print version of the full programme will also be distributed with the Tribune de Geneve newspaper on the 21st of June.
FRIDAY, June 22nd: 19h-02h
SATURDAY, June 23rd : 11h-02h
SUNDAY, 24th: 11h-22h
Tram lines 18 and 12 will operate as usual to and from Place Neuve, as will most of the bus lines serving this area.
Traffic restrictions will apply, so make sure you check these before setting out.
For a map of the 28 venues, food stalls, public toilets etc click here.
Quartier de Neuve
Victoria Hall| Rue du Général-Dufour 14
Grütli| Rue du Général-Dufour 16 – Bibliothèque musicale – La Musicale – Les Cinémas
Conservatoire (CSM et HEM)| Place de Neuve 5
Place de Neuve| Place de Neuve
Parc des Bastions
Bastions Rocailles| Parc des Bastions
Bastions Réformateurs| Parc des Bastions
Bastions Calabri| Parc des Bastions
Bastions Saint-Léger| Parc des Bastions
Bastions Crypte| Parc des Bastions
Salle des Abeilles| Rue de l’Athénée 2
La Treille| Promenade de la Treille
Eglise Saint-Germain| Rue des Granges 11
Cour de la Société de Lecture| Grand Rue 11
Alhambra| Rue de la Rôtisserie 10
Cour Saint-Pierre| Cour de Saint-Pierre
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre| Cour de Saint-Pierre 8
Agrippa| Terrasse Agrippa-d’Aubigné
Auditoire Calvin | Place de la Taconnerie 1
Cour du 14| Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville 14
Eglise Luthérienne| Rue Verdaine 20
Temple de la Madeleine| Rue de Toutes-Ames 15
Salle Frank-Martin | Rue de la Vallée 1
Promenade Saint-Antoine| Promenade de Saint-Antoine
Le Pin| Promenade du Pin
Conservatoire de populaire (CPMDT)| Rue Charles-Bonnet 8 – Le Parvis – Studio De Agostini
Casemates | Passage Burlamachi
Cour du MAH | Rue Charles-Galland 2
L’Observatoire | Promenade de l’Observatoire
FOOD AND DRINK
Food from different cultures will be available from around 40 food stalls – mainly from non-profit organisations.
For a complete list and more information – consult the website of the Fete de la Musique.