Caprices Reaches New Heights

Maybe there are so many festivals in Switzerland because they’re not afraid to hold them on mountains, but neither mountains nor the recession have hindered the growth of Caprices.

This year’s four-dayer at Crans-Montana (or Crans sur Sierre), a ski resort in the heart of The Alps, broke its attendance record by selling 25,000 tickets.

In the six years since it started as a celebration of the end of winter, its crowd has steadily increased from 8,000.

“If all festivals go like this one, 2009 will be a great festival year,” said Seb Vuignier of Takk Productions, as fellow Swiss festival Paleo-Nyon – where he used to work – echoed the point by selling out in less than three hours.

Vuignier books the live acts for Caprices, the first festival of the Swiss season, while artistic director Maxime Leonard books the DJs.

The 2008 event, with 20,000 tickets sold, was such a success the organizers increased the site by opening up a dance floor further up the mountain – 2,200 metres above sea level – which likely qualifies it as one of the world’s highest.

Crans-Montana, where most of the event is held around an outdoor stage on the ski slope, is at an altitude of 1,500 metres but still offers good views over the Valais Alps and Weisshorn, one of the major peaks in the range.

The acts on the April 15-18 bill included Duffy, Paolo Nutini, Ayo, Toots & The Maytals, Sergent Garcia, Nada Surf, Anaïs, and The Young Gods.
Next year’s festival is April 7-10.