An abundance of free activities will punctuate the 56th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. From July 1 to 16, the public will be able to experience the excitement of the Montreux waterfront, with its many stages, terraces, stands and bars overlooking the famous Lake Geneva.
Artists will be placed in the spotlight on the free stages, including the UK’s Eurovision star Sam Ryder, radio DJ and cultural tastemaker Gilles Peterson and charming TikTok legends Peach Tree Rascals. A major new feature of this year’s festival is the Lake House, which invites the public to take a unique journey into the sprawling world and unique legacy of the Montreux Jazz Festival.
INDOOR & OUTDOOR FREE STAGES
Established in 2017, Lisztomania continues its exploration of emerging trends in all styles. In this 500-seat indoor venue, concerts will be held each evening, except on Mondays. The public will be able to discover the jazz-rap groove of Londoner Alfa Mist, the deliciously singular hip-hop of Montreuil native Ichon and the confrontational soul of Poppy Ajudha. Also announced for the venue are Brainfeeder signee and techno revivalist Ross From Friends, Scottish multi-hyphenate Sega Bodega, and Portuguese-Danish R&B performer Erika de Casier.
On July 8, 9 and 10, the MJF Spotlight Nights will be live-streamed on TikTok as part of the festival’s partnership with the platform. The performing artists will be Yendry (8 July), Sam Tompkins (9 July) and Riopy (10 July). Launched in 2020 by the Festival, MJF Spotlight is a digital brand dedicated to promoting emerging artists year-round, including through the Artists of the Month program, highlighting one talent per month.
SUPER BOCK STAGE
For the Super Bock Stage, Parc Vernex is transformed into a bustling Biergarten. In this open-to-all festive stage, the public will be able to enjoy areas dedicated to relaxation and games – including a petanque court – during the afternoon. Two concerts per evening will animate the Super Bock Stage with a program of emerging Swiss and international artists, covering a wide spectrum of pop and rock sounds.
Highlights from the pan-European roster include the folk ballads of the French Lonny, the fizzing country-pop of the Irish CMAT and the trailblazing indie rock of the young German Donkey Kid.
A nightclub on the lake, the Ipanema will host Swiss and international DJs with their feet in the water. The place to be to party at sunset or under the stars.
Among the names to remember are the promising English producer TSHA and her sharp sense of melody; the energetic queer American activists Octo Octa & Eris Drew; the French Anetha and her sets imbued with old school techno; Ukrainian DJ star Nastia, whose recent shows have turned into intense communions of yellow and blue; and lastly the two pioneers of the nineties, DJ Bone and Goldie, whose unprecedented back to back set will provoke fascinating collisions between Detroit techno and UK drum & bass.
TERRASSE IBIS MUSIC
The atmosphere of the ibis MUSIC Terrace will change throughout the day: from a bar with a relaxed atmosphere in the afternoon, to intimate electro-pop performances in the evening and captivating DJ sets at night. Notably, Thursdays will be dedicated to silent discos, and the splendid Sam Ryder, who achieved the highest chart position of a UK Eurovision entry in 26 years, will play this stage.
EL MUNDO, POOL PARTY & PARALLEL EXPERIENCES
Latin rhythms and sounds are celebrated every day at El Mundo, from dance classes in the afternoon to wild DJ sets at night. The Pool Parties are back every Saturday at the mythical Casino pool, with sun-drenched DJ sets.
Finally, Audemars Piguet is taking a select few to an exceptional location, which is being kept secret for the moment, to attend performances by Arlo Parks and The Blaze. These Parallel Experiences are reserved for the winners of contests organised on social networks and at the Patio during the Festival.
INTRODUCING THE LAKE HOUSE
EIGHT ROOMS, EIGHT ATMOSPHERES
Open non-stop from 5pm to 5am, this large three-story residence will house eight themed rooms: The Memphis, La Coupole, La Loggia, Le Cinéma, La Bibliothèque, La Galerie, Le Boudoir and Le Patio. The public will be able to enjoy the different atmospheres and activities offered in each room, whether they be musical, visual, dance, educational or technological.
THE MEMPHIS supported by Julius Baer
Emerging jazz concerts, workshops, and jam sessions
A true American-style club with round tables and a bar, The Memphis, supported by bank Julius Baer, is dedicated to jazz music in all its forms. Workshops will be offered at the beginning of the evening, followed by concerts featuring the greatest sensations of the current jazz scene. The legendary jam sessions will continue until 5am.
The cream of the current UK scene is represented by a dozen groups, each exploring new combinations of jazz, soul, hip-hop, Afro or electronic sounds. We will discover the bubbling Steam Down collective, the intrepid tuba player Theon Cross (member of Sons of Kemet), the multi-instrumentalist Emma-Jean Thackray or the Blue Lab Beats duo, the new figurehead of the Blue Note label. The United States are not forgotten either, with pedal steel guitar virtuoso Roosevelt Collier and Mississippi bluesman Zac Harmon.
The Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation (MJAF) celebrates its 15 years of existence with two special evenings at the Memphis, inviting artists it has accompanied or revealed, including Tigran Hamasyan and Soweto Kinch, both winners of competitions organised at the Festival in 2003. The MJAF also presents the “Jazz in Motion” program: a selection of six artists representative of the evolution of jazz, chosen by the Foundation and a committee of artists (José James, Michael League and Terri Lyne Carrington). Jam sessions and workshops are also organised by the MJAF.
DJ sets and heritage bar
With its large central bar, La Coupole will be an essential evening destination at the Festival, hosting funk, disco and house DJ sets. During the day, the Heritage Bar will offer a menu of drinks but also sound bites – accessible via a QR code – immersing the public in a series of anecdotes, interviews and stories encapsulating Montreux.
Among the nightly sessions not to be missed are the disco-tinged house of Hunee, the explosive Marseille collective Famille Maraboutage, the French touch icon DJ Falcon and the disco-funk bangers of DJ and keyboardist Deborah Aime La Bagarre. The last day of the festival will end with a voguing night from two iconic LGBTQI+ activists, Barbara Butch and Kiddy Smile, accompanied by a crew of dancers ready to set the stage on fire. Carl Craig promises a set tailor-made for Montreux, venturing far beyond your average techno night.
Screenings of concerts, documentaries, and films
Featuring Meyer Sound’s latest prototype, an 11-speaker 5.1 surround sound system, Le Cinéma will screen films, documentaries and concerts captured at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Don Letts, the key player in the 1970s London punk scene, will present his documentary Two Sevens Clash (2017). They All Came Out To Montreux (2022), the three-part documentary about Claude Nobs and the Festival will of course be screened and commentated by its director Oliver Murray. In addition, Le Cinéma’s program will include special evenings in tribute to David Bowie and Nick Cave, during which the public will be able to see a whole series of films and documentaries featuring these artists, such as Ziggy Stardust (1973) and 20,000 Days on Earth (2014).
Documentaries with presentations:
- Birth of the Cool, Miles Davis presented by Geoff Kempin (Mercury Studio)
- They All Came Out to Montreux presented by Director Oliver Murray
- Quincy presented by Adam Fell (Quincy Jones Productions)
- Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters – 2014 presented by John Axelrod
- Asaf Avidan – 2015 presented by Asaf Avidan
Literary and musical workshops, book and vinyl collections
La Bibliothèque will host two exceptional collections: the largest Swiss collection of books on jazz and contemporary music and more than 300 Live at Montreux vinyl. All of this will be freely accessible and the very first Nagra turntable will be available to listen to these vinyl. Journalists, writers, producers, musicians and actors from the world of music and culture will come each day to shed light on a book, an album or simply to lead a discussion in public.
- Mastering the Montreux Historical Recordings presented by Fraser Kennedy, Tony Cousins & Nick Bonard (Montreux Years Label), moderator Pierre-Philippe Cadert (RTS)
- John McLaughlin presents his Montreux Years Vinyl
- There and Black Again presented by Don Letts
- 12 Notes, On Life and Creativity by Quincy Jones presented by Adam Fell (Quincy Jones Productions)
- Conceptualising the Montreux Historical Recordings presented by Fraser Kennedy & Nick Bonnard (Montreux Years Label), moderator Pierre-Philippe Cadert (RTS)
- The world of Music NFT presented by Adam Fell, Nick Bonard & Greg Guillemin
La Loggia will host the recording of a daily podcast open to the public. What is jazz? The podcast named “Jazz Is…”, produced in collaboration with Chahut Media, will attempt to provide a plural and surprising definition. Distinguished guests will talk about their personal relationship to jazz, including John McLaughlin, Marc Rebillet, Tinashe, Gregory Porter, Patrick Watson and Gilles Peterson.
LA GALERIE, LE PATIO & LE BOUDOIR
Exhibitions, bar and games room
These three spaces do not host daily programming but will be no less lively for that. Le Boudoir will be a retro game room with a pool table, pinball machine and jukebox. Le Galerie will offer a visual and auditory exhibition, immersing the public in the world of NFT. Le Patio, a meeting and relaxation area, will host an interactive experience proposed by Audemars Piguet, between heritage and innovation.
FREE PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES INCLUDE
Jam sessions, pool parties, silent discos, film and concert screenings, vinyl listening sessions, workshops, podcasts, exhibitions, and dance classes.
The Montreux Jazz Festival continues to make a wide range of musical and cultural experiences accessible to all audiences. Conceived with the same attention to detail as the paid program, these activities will be situated in extraordinary places.
The main residence of the 56th edition, the Lake House, will host a breath-taking diversity of experiences on three floors. The public will be able to wander freely from 5 pm to 5 am, through eight themed rooms, each more captivating than the last. Concerts, workshops, podcasts, screenings, exhibitions, DJ sets, literary experiences and musical encounters will welcome all visitors. More than 200 activities will be offered over the festival’s 16 days.
Attracted by this project exploring art in all its forms, over a hundred musicians, producers, researchers, directors, journalists and writers have accepted the Festival’s invitation. Notably, Don Letts, a key figure in the London punk and dub scenes, will play a DJ set at La Coupole, participate in the recording of a podcast at La Loggia, comment on his autobiography at La Bibliothèque, and present two documentaries, one in a Swiss premiere at The Memphis and the other at Le Cinéma. Among other distinguished guests, techno pioneer Carl Craig, DJ and label owner Gilles Peterson and bandleader John Axelrod will participate in various Lake House activities.
The support for emerging artists is at the heart of the free stages’ programming. The celebrated Montreux Jazz Club has been replaced by The Memphis — a club dedicated to contemporary jazz music that is emblematic of the festival’s future-facing approach. The festival wishes to make jazz music accessible to a younger audience, utilising a new generation of artists who break the codes of jazz whilst paying homage to its legacy.
Two other new stages will be added to the free program: the Ipanema, a nightclub built on the lake, and the Super Bock Stage in the Parc Vernex, which has been completely redesigned as a Biergarten.
THE FREE PROGRAM IN FIGURES
More than 450 concerts, DJ sets and workshops, including 250 at the Lake House
11 free stages
2000 m2 of terraces
55 food stands and bar