Another record-breaking year looks to have confirmed Openair Frauenfeld as the country’s second-biggest outdoor, rounding off Andy Locher’s five-year bid to reform it to its former glories.
The event has a checkered 14-year history, in which it has soared among the country’s top festivals and plummeted to the point of bankruptcy.
Major Swiss music companies including Good News and Free & Virgin have tried with it and backed off, partly because some of the owners didn’t have a stable enough financial footing to keep it afloat after a lean year.
Locher has spent the time changing the shape of the event, turning it into a mainly hip-hop and dance event – "because Switzerland didn’t have one" – and aiming at a younger audience.
By last year the attendance was up to more than 30,000 per day and this year’s July 11-13 bash has taken another huge leap to 40,000, which means its daily crowd is actually higher than market leader Paleo-Nyon.
"Paleo is only 35,000 per day but it runs for six days and that’s 225,000 people," Locher said. "We’ve just had 40,000 for three days.
"Anyway, apart from the crowds, Paleo has been around for decades and everybody including me looks at it as the No. 1 Swiss festival," he said. "I’m not going to set out to beat our attendance figure again next year because I don’t know if I’ll be able to get such a strong lineup again."
The acts helping Frauenfeld back up the ladder included Cypress Hill, Wu Tang Clan Jay-Z, The Hives, Ice Cube, Common and Buju Banton.