Founded by Claude Nobs in 1967, over the years the Montreux Jazz Festival has become an unmissable event for music fans in Switzerland and around the world. Its stages have been graced by all of music’s greats, from Miles Davis to Ray Charles and from David Bowie to Prince. The festival was originally held at the old Montreux Casino, which burned down in December 1971 during Frank Zappa’s performance. (“Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple tells that story.)
The festival was held then in other auditoriums in Montreux, until it could return to the rebuilt new Casino in 1975. The festival continued to grow, and in 1993, it moved to the larger Convention Centre. From 1995 through 2008, it occupied both the Convention Centre and the Casino. Beginning with the 41st MJF in 2007, nightly performances of headliners were again moved mainly to the Convention Centre, owing mainly to logistics: the Casino is approximately 1 kilometre from the Convention Centre, making it difficult for crew, artists and technical personnel (as well as fans) to travel easily through crowded streets from one venue to the other.
As of 2007, the Convention Centre hosts two main stages, Stravinsky Auditorium and Miles Davis Hall, as well as the smaller Montreux Jazz Cafe, and several smaller open-air stages around the Centre. Additional themed shows are held on boats cruising the lake and train cars traveling the region, and various workshops and competitions are held at the nearby Montreux Palais and Le Petit Palais.
Montreux Jazz Festival set for 5 – 20 July, 2013.