I finally made it to Zermatt for this years Zermatt Unplugged festival. I’ve been to the Zurich edition before, but the original has been on my bucketlist until now. I now can say I’ve been to the festival with the best views (e.g. world famous Matterhorn). And I can tell you this, it might have been my first time, most definitely not my last time.
This year’s Zermatt Unplugged took place from April 10th – 14th and I was lucky enough to attend the festival in the canton of Valais with Gina from Bohemian Stella. Main reason for me was definitely Jack Savorettis gig on Friday the 13th. I’ve seen him before, so I knew what to expect and that’s what made me even more excited. Apart from witnessing a great show, I only had the change to interview the singer, who by the way spent most of his childhood in Switzerland. Curious what we talked about? Head over to our other post with the interview and a couple of pictures: Interview and concert Pictures: Jack Savoretti (Pictures of Lianne La Havas will follow shortly)
Zermatt is clearly showing off!
Zermatt couldn’t have put itself in a better light than when I arrived there. Blue skies and sunshine! It was clear that this town is all about the festival. There are hundreds of little flags waving in the air. Signs were posted everywhere throughout the town, just to make sure everyone knew where they were going. Every venue/stage was therefore super easy to find. Even though half the town was flooded by Asian tourists (this is absolutely normal for Zermatt I was told), you could see and feel that at this weekend, the music was almost more important than the famous mountain – or at least that’s what I like to think.
Zermatt Unplugged – all over town!
Apart from the mentioned flags and signs, you can see on the map that the festival has taken over the entire town. The main area is of course the Taste Village with the 2 big tents. There are several concerts all over town on all of the smaller stages, but just like at every festival, you won’t be able to see all the shows. Some unfortunately overlap, which makes you either miss it, or cut another one short. Make sure to study the program and set your priorities :). Check out the map with all the stages:
Image source: Zermatt Unplugged
As already suspected, I didn’t make it to all of the stages, sad I missed the shows up at Gandegghütte or the Sunegga Session. All the more reasons to come back next year.
My Recommendation for Zermatt Unplugged
Apart from all the great shows, there is one Event that I think is a MUST. The Jam Session at the Mont Cervin Palace with Ronnie Scott’s All Stars! These guys are amazing and incredible talented! The place is usually packed, so make sure to arrive early. Also, you never know who might show up to jam with the band. The first Jam Session had Emeli Sandé hop on stage! On Friday, we were lucky enough to see James Walsh (of Starsailor) and Rolf Stahlhofen of German band Söhne Mannheims perform with Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.
Travel and Accomodation
One main thing to keep in mind, if you plan on going to Zermatt Unplugged, make sure to get accommodation well in advance. If you wait too long, most hotels/hostels will be fully booked or cost as much as probably a flight to New York! Or you’ll have to go to Täsch or even Randa – 2 towns further, which isn’t bad, but the train ride back and forth can be a hassle. I was lucky to find a great apartment on Airbnb on short notice, but I wouldn’t rely on that every time.
As Zermatt is car-free , I would definitely recommend to travel by train (and this is a car lover saying this). Otherwise you’ll have to drive to Täsch and leave your car there. Apart from the breathtaking views on the trainride, you can get some pretty cheap tickets through SBB if you check early enough. In case that ship has sailed – or let’s say that train has left – you can always try to get the Daypasses from your Gemeinde. Which is still cheaper than a fullfare train ticket.
Zermatt Unplugged will be back in April 2019!
The festival literally just ended while I’m writing this, but we can already confirm, it will be back next year! Mark your calendars: April 9th – 13th 2019 will most probably make me travel to Zermatt again – depending a little on the line up of course.
At this point, thanks so much to Zermatt Unplugged for having me, it was great and I can’t wait to be back again!