We were tipped by locals about Montreux and the Jazz festival when we arrived in Geneva. Montreux is located on the shore of Lake Geneva and has a Mediterranean climate and feel, with a beautiful promenade along the lake and picturesque landscape. It’s no wonder Freddie Mercury had this town as his sanctuary and Queen recording seven albums here.
We got to Montreux by an hour drive from Geneva and the town and its Riviera reminded us a little bit of Cannes. Although beautiful, we felt Montreux as a town, was slightly boring and in order to get the most out of a visit, it’s a good idea to check out the nearby towns like Vevey and Cully. Renting a car is a great way to access the other regions and towns.
It was fantastic experiencing the legendary Montreux Jazz festival, which is the second largest annual jazz festival in the world. The festival is internationally acclaimed for having had some of the most influential artists and musicians on its stage. Artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, BB King, James Brown,Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin….the list goes on and on.
Although we had heard about this famous festival, we had never thought that we’d experience it sooner rather than later as it was initially not part of our “things- to-do” in Switzerland plan…at all. But very glad we were flexible and impulsive enough to take the opportunity when it came along. It is afterall the point of traveling!
The atmosphere of the festival was eclectic with lots of outdoor food stands dishing up meals from all parts of the world. In the evening the festival area was packed with people enjoying food, drinks and live outdoor music. There were people from all corners of the world – locals and foreigners, young and old. TIP If you go early evening, you can secure a table at one of the nicer pavilions overlooking the lake and its surroundings.
The very best part of our visit, was getting front row tickets to experience Mary J. Blige live on stage. An amazing performance which sent chills up and down our spines….and introducing her to the stage was the godfather himself – Quincy Jones. This was a once in a lifetime experience which we will remember for many years to come. We also experienced D’Angelos performance on stage, although it kiiinda paled in comparison to Mary J. Blige.
One of our clips of the performance.
Next year will be the 50th festival, and pretty sure that it will be spectacular. So if wanting to experience the festival, 2016 will probably be a good year to experience it. Enjoy!