Frauenfeld Hits The Roof

Andy Locher of Pleasure Productions says he’s going to cap Frauenfeld Festival at 35,000, after nearly 30,000 per day turned up to the old horse racing track just outside Zurich.

It’s four years since his company took over the festival and turned it into a hip-hop gathering, with the annual gross crowd steadily increasing from 30,000 to 45,000, to 75,000 and now nearly 100,000.

Locher found a niche in the market after Harry Sprenger’s Free & Virgin Agency, which ran the event from ’86 to ’95, Andre Bechir’s Good News Productions AG in partnership with Conti Productions (’97 and ’98), and then Gert Hubatka’s Event AG took turns trying to make a regular success of it.

Conti and Hubatka fared worst as it took their companies into bankruptcy, with the latter going down to the tune of about 300,000 Swiss Francs (then US$240,000).

Since then, it’s become the most notable – although historically most unlikely – success story in the overcrowded and volatile Swiss outdoor market.

"If we go any bigger than 35,000, and we could have done it this year considering the number of people who turned up without a ticket, then we’d change the nature of what we’ve created," Locher said.

Among the acts helping Pleasure Productions take it to the limit July 13-15 were The Prodigy, The Roots, Seeed, Missy Elliott, Sean Paul, The Rasmus, Mando Diao, Bushido, Clueso and Puppetmastaz.