It only took festival president Matthias Müller three days of the November 1-15 Avo Session in Basel to realize that this year’s edition would be the best in the event’s 22-year history.
The 13 shows at the city’s 1,530-capacity Messe Basel, where fans sit six to a candlelit table and enjoy seeing the act in a club atmosphere, have headliners including Joe Cocker, Katie Melua and Joss Stone.
After the first three shows featuring Cocker, Suzanne Vega and Swiss rock act Gotthard, Müller was confident this year’s sessions will do 98 percent business.
The event was doing so well at presale that he was able to add extra shows by Melua and Mark Knopfler to a list that also has Reamonn, The Hooters, Rufus Wainwright, Dolores O’Riordan, Chuck Berry and Sinead O’Connor.
Berry and Wainwright’s performances will also include presentation ceremonies, as the Avo Session voting jury has selected Berry to win this year’s "Lifetime Achievement Award" and Wainwright to collect the "Musicians’ Musician Award."
Knopfler’s Swiss record company is expected to present him a gold disc for his new Kill To Get Crimson album during the evening of his November 12 show, while Melua’s performance on the 10th should include the presentation of a platinum disc for her Call Off The Search album.