On Top Of The World

Gurten Festival organisers must have felt on top of the world when the 16,000-capacity four-dayer in Switzerland all but sold out in advance. The fans already would feel that way, as the picturesque mountainside site overlooks Berne.

It’s linked to the Swiss capital by a couple of miles of single track road that’s used to bring up all the staging and festival equipment. That operation requires the best timing to make sure a gear-laden truck coming up the hill doesn’t meet an empty one on the way down.

At the close of a sun-drenched first day that included Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Royksopp, The Gaslight Anthem and White Lies, the storms that hit Switzerland all through the July 16-19 weekend lashed down and turned much of the site into a mudbath.

Pictures of fans wearing Wellington boots and wading through mud made the daily newspaper 20 Minuten, which also reported it was a successful 26th edition despite the weather.

Although festival chief Philippe Cornu was very satisfied with the size of the crowd and the talent on display, he admitted to being worried that the incoming rain would spilt the fans’ enjoyment.

The acts helping the crowd stick it out so well also included Oasis, Travis, Tricky, Kings Of Leon, Razorlight, Pendulum and Friendly Fires.