An ‘Uneventful’ Gampel

Cult Agency’s Derrick Thomson was happy with what he described as an "uneventful" Open Air Gampel, a real plus in a highly competitive Swiss market where an eventful festival usually endures rotten weather or disastrous ticket sales.

This year’s August 16-19 gathering attracted 80,000 fans across the four days but Thomson, who co-books the event with Marc Lambelet’s Black Lamb Productions, was particularly pleased that the first-day crowd was 2,000 up on last year.

The 24,000-capacity event’s first day, a Thursday that’s more like a one-dayer that happens just before the three-day festival begins, pulled 14,000 and Thomson believes it’s nearer to becoming part of a more integrated four-day event.

"We’ve booked it more that way over the last couple of years," he told Pollstar, explaining that the Thursday acts, which arguably appealed to a slightly older generation, are now being targeted toward people who are more likely to stay and enjoy the rest of the festival.

The other three days pulled 66,000, a 22,000-per day average that puts Gampel only a little behind St. Gallen (30,000), Frauenfeld Festival (28,000) and Greenfield (25,000) in a crowd-pulling league of this year’s Swiss outdoors.

The 16,000-capacity Gurtenfestival would come next as this year’s July 19-22 event pulled more than 14,000 per day, although like Gampel it’s also happy to stick at its current size.

Paleo Nyon Festival regularly hits its 35,000-per day capacity and is by far the country’s biggest outdoor.

"We’re happy with the result because Gampel has held its position alongside the other festivals and we have no plans to grow it any bigger than it is now," Thomson explained.

"It’s a very competitive market and we’re pleased that the festival has come up to our expectations again."

The acts helping Gampel hold its Swiss market niche included Tool, Travis, Sportfreunde Stiller, Gogol Bordello, Die Arzte, Gentleman & The Far East Band, Within Temptation, Eagles Of Death Metal and The Passengers.