Paléo Festival Founder Daniel Rossellat Honored At Euro Festival Awards

Daniel Rossellat, founder and president of one of Switzerland’s most famous festivals, Paléo, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at next year’s European Festival Awards.  

Paleo Festival
– Paleo Festival
in Switzerland

Rossellat told Pollstar that “it is a beautiful recognition and a great pride for the whole working team. I am the captain that lifts up the cup, but this award is collective, and I am sharing it with the 60 co-workers and the 4800 volunteers of the Paléo Festival.”

Rossellat was born in 1953 not far from the Swiss municipality of Nyon, where Paléo Festival takes place.

During his time as a youth worker, he started organizing concerts with his friends, which became known as “Paléo Arts & Spectacles” in 1975. To this day it remains the name of the organization that is organizing Paléo Festival.

Since the job of festival director was unheard of at the time, Rossellat had to invent it – while studying and training as a journalist at the same time. Paléo celebrates its 43rd edition in 2018, July 17-22. The lineup is to be announced in March with tickets going on sale shortly thereafter. 

It has attracted more than 6 million festivalgoers since its launch.

Daniel Rossellat
Aniessa Jotterand
– Daniel Rossellat
Paleo Festival founder and president

Besides a loyal following, the event has also amassed critical acclaim from live professionals and received numerous prizes and certificates in recognition of its cultural work and environmental protection policy.

Rossellat oversees a staff of 60, a committee with more than 100 members, as well as some 4,800 volunteers. As the acting Syndic (mayor) of Nyon, he also had the concerns of the municipality’s 18,000-plus inhabitants in mind. Rossellat will accept the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the upcoming European Festival Awards, which traditionally take place on the first day of Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Netherlands, Jan. 17. 

The promoter took Pollstar to the beginnings of Paléo Festival: “We started with no role model, not a lot of experience, no money and no political support. But we had the passion and love of concerts and above all we shared a mix of values, ideals and pragmatism.”

He remembered that “there were almost no big open-air festivals in Switzerland at the time. If I look all the way back, it is a real pride for me and the whole Paléo Team. But let’s stay modest. The success of our event is the result of mistakes that have been improved and failures we overcame or even transformed into opportunities.

“Looking forward, it is essential to remain alert to the quality of service we offer to our audience and to work on a pertinent artistic line-up. And furthermore, to keep the same willingness to succeed by being faithful in our values, by our envy to share and always have in mind to enlarge the musical horizons of our festivalgoers in a festive, convivial and friendly spirit. Let’s keep innovating and surprising!”