Summer time in the northern hemisphere is here.
People normally think of the beach when they think of the Summer.
However, there are also some other options that one can consider that have their own special atmosphere.
For example, there is a number of music festivals that are really special and create a unique atmosphere that you won’t find in many places.
A couple of festivals that are really worth trying to attend, and that are near to each other, are the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Paleo Festival Nyon, both on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
I’m particular found of the area at this time of the year. The weather couldn’t be more pleasant; sunny and dry and just warm enough for a swim in the lake.
The Montreux Jazz Festival brings together some of the biggest names in jazz, blues and fusion music from all over the world. It has been running for over 50 years and has become more than just a music festival.
For three weeks at the beginning of every July, it transforms the quiet and picturesque town of Montreux into a hive of activity, filled with street performers and artists from around the world. Don’t be surprised if you bump into major artists in the street or sitting next to you in the cafes.
The original site of the festival’s concerts was the Montreux Casino which burned down in a tragic fire during a Frank Zappa performance in 1971, and which inspired the famous tune “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.
These days performances are held in a newly built auditorium named the Stravinski Auditorium, as well as in various smaller locations that are setup all around the banks of the lake.
The traditional Brazilian Samba cruise on the lake still takes place on the lake each year. In fact, they have now added a New Orleans Jazz Train and Salsa Boat cruises to the schedule.
The place to stay is the Le Montreux Palace Hotel, which is traditionally the center of activity during the festival where bars are open and the music keeps playing often until sunrise.
The Paleo Festival Nyon is a rock music festival and appeals to a generally younger audience. It normally runs for a few days and originally started as a large campsite, which was attended by less than 2,000 people in 1976. Today, more than 250 concerts are put on during the festival, which are attended by over 200,000 people. While camping is still an option, it now accommodates camper vans and even provides rental accommodation.
Like the Montreux Festival, you need to get tickets very early because it has traditionally been sold out well before its commencement.
As you can see, summer isn’t only about laying on the beach, although I love that too. There are so many ways to soak up cultural activities in wonderful locations. I hope I have shared with you just a couple more ideas to help make summer even more fun this year.