Blue Balls Has The Nerve

Blue Balls chief Urs Leierer intends to stick with his plan of programming young, lesser known acts for the Swiss festival, even though this year’s headliners pulled 10 percent fewer people than in 2010.

Attendance at the various 1,000- and 1,500-capacity rooms in the KKL, the city of Lucerne’s Convention Centre, averaged about 72 percent of capacity.

The overall number attending the event, which operates in several venues and outside areas on the shores of Lake Lucerne, was still around the 100,000 mark. Leierer is confident that the event has once again made a small profit.

He says he’s yet to work out how the cancellation of Beth Ditto’s appearance July 29, which would have been one of the festival’s sellouts, will affect the numbers.

The American singer had to cancel due to a family emergency.

Next year is the event’s 20th anniversary and the occasion will warrant a bigger spend on international acts, although Leierer intends to stick with his longer-term idea of turning Blue Balls into a multi-faceted event.

This year’s gathering around the bay of Lake Lucerne July 22-29 featured 100 shows including Sophie Hunger, Macy Gray, Ben Watts, Beverley Knight, KT Tunstall, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ben Harper, and Agnes Obel.