Bands Play on Stages in This Music Festival Near Zurich That Attracts 100,000 Party People
Anyone who says they don’t party in Switzerland has never seen, heard about or been to the Zurich Street Parade, a massive moving techno event held each August (Aug. 11, in 2012).
Or Albanifest, a three-day cultural musical extravaganza that features dozens of bands from several different cultures on stages throughout the city’s compact Old Town. More than 100,000 people jam Winterthur – just a 20-minute train ride from Zurich – for it, which annually takes place the last weekend in June.
The 2012 event is June 29-July 1.
Albanifest is the largest event in Winterthur, and it’s an attraction for music fans from around Switzerland. It’s near non-stop music on the various stages, Switzerland’s musical festival equivalent of Jazzfest in New Orleans or Summerfest in Milwaukee (which also runs this time of the year).
It’s a party scene and in Switzerland you can drink a beer or cocktail in the streets (as long as it’s in a can or plastic cup), so grab a drink and walk up to any of the stages. Or get as close as possible. The Swiss people are polite, so you’re sure to make several friends mingling to the music.
Albanifest is more than music, however, There are food and craft booths from the different cultures in Switzerland, as well as carnival rides, which are quite popular. In 2012 there are more than 100 restaurants in tents with food specialities, 50 dance and entertainment centers and 10,000 seats, tho most people obviously like to stand and stroll. Some 80 associations, clubs and societies take part in the Albanifest.
It goes on Friday from 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday from 1 p.m.-5 a.m. (good luck finding a music festival, or any other event for that matter, that lasts until 5 in the morning in the States), and Sunday from 5 a.m.-midnight.
In other words, it doesn’t stop for two days!
The event was born out of a celebration the city used to hold in its early days to celebrate the paying of its taxes to Zurich. Eventually that went away but the idea was resurrected in the 60s and today it’s a lively Swiss party.
Finding a room is tough, but you can stay in Zurich and take the train, or see what’s available on the Winterthur event website.