(Photograph copyright Pierk Falco)
Neuchâtel's annual outdoor festival has grown each year since it first made music on the lake shore in 2001 with five groups.
This year's line-up has 50 acts across a wide range of modern music genres, with international headliners like Patti Smith, Midnight Oil, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Zazie, Gaëtan Roussel, Inna de Yard, Lomepal, Ska-P, Kery James, Sum 41 and others. Swiss stars Sophie Hunger and Bastian Baker will also be performing, not to mention Neuchâtel's own, The Rambling Wheels, Charles in the Kitchen and Emilie Zoé.
Multiple open air stages
Besides the main stage, there will be two smaller venues on the festival grounds, plus La Plage where DJs on a mini-stage actually set up on the lake, conjuring techno, house and beyond to get dancers into their trances – in or out of the water.
Even weirder, La Silent Party, is a space where you are given a set of headphones with three channels, allowing you to literally channel any of the three DJs spinning their mixes. Or take off your headphones and watch the silent kinetic dance spectacle. Of course, there will be kiosks with plenty of good fest-food and drink.
(Photograph copyright Carine Veluzat)
Off-Stage performance art for families and everyone
Festi'Neuch gets family friendly with its off-stage “Art de rue” performances at various spots around the festival grounds. Sunday is the best day to bring the little ones, with earlier performances and activities geared toward families.
After hours, beyond the boundaries
This year for the first time, "Les Afternatives" will offer late night music at three venues around town – everything from electronica, funk and Afro-beat to retro indie rock, hip-hop and (gasp) disco.
Ready, steady, go? Order your tickets online fast; Friday is already sold out.
A local's tip for Festi'Neuch
Don't miss Neuchâtel band, The Rambling Wheels, whose music is infectious, fun and original.
(Photograph copyright The Rambling Wheels)
Cost: CHF 75 per day in advance (CHF 80 at the gate), CHF 169 for 3 days, CHF 210 for all four days. Free for ages 0 to 3, and CHF 3 per day for kids 4 to 12. VIP space CHF 185 per day (CHF 135 on Sunday).
Getting there: From the train station, it is a short walk down to the lake. Parking could be a hassle.
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