Gurten Wins Against The Odds

Despite starting the festival on a site saturated by two weeks of heavy rain and the occasional massive hailstorm, and having some of his international acts struggle to get there because the weather was causing flight cancellations out of London Heathrow, Philippe Cornu was delighted to see Gurten celebrate what’s probably been the Swiss festival’s wettest success.

Razorlight was the only act that couldn’t find alternative flights and 57,000 fans turned up over the four days, all apparently determined to tackle the long weekend with something akin to a Glastonbury spirit.

Revised travelling schedules meant Kelis switching slots with Cypress Hill, but Cornu says it made no real difference as the crowd – the younger end of which he sees leaning more toward urban music – thoroughly enjoyed both.

"So many fans have contacted us and said it’s the most they’ve ever enjoyed the festival and the crowd really gave the acts a great reaction," he told Pollstar.

"Although it was wet and miserable, they just laughed about it and I think some of them enjoyed being covered in mud," he added.

"At times the weather was so bad and the threat of lightning had me a bit worried about the power supplies and I was just anticipating problems, but the festival infrastructure stood up to everything very well."

The ground never turned into a real quagmire as there’s some solid rock not far beneath the topsoil on the Berne hillside.

The site has extensive washing facilities, so only the truly dedicated spent four days covered in the same mud.

Cornu says he’s not disappointed he didn’t get nearer to a 16,000 per day sellout as he hardly expects it on the first day, a Thursday when many people can’t get the time off work.

The festival did much better than break even, although the cost of repairing the park site may eat into the upside.

The acts helping to create a muddy marvellous Gurten (July 19 -22) included Die Fantastischen Vier, Avril Lavigne, Scissor Sisters, Joss Stone, The Roots, Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, Beatsteaks, Kosheen, 2Raumwohnung, The Pipettes and Peter Bjorn and John.