Festival dates for 2014, Roadworks in Nyon centre for 5 months, plus other news.

Here is a handy list of dates of the five main festivals taking place in the Nyon area in 2014. The season kicks off with the winter mini rock festival Les Hivernales, followed in April by the documentary film festival Visions du Réel.

Caribana, the first of the summer festivals takes place in June, (note: the band Queens of the Stone Age will be playing at this festival on Thursday 5 June). Paléo, the major rock festival in town is in July and the line up will be announced on Tuesday 1st April. The festival season finishes with FAR, the festival of living arts.

Dates for diary

Roadworks near railway bridge in Nyon. There will be roadworks in the centre of Nyon beginning  Monday 13th January lasting for approximately five months. These roadworks will be near the roundabout under Nyon railway bridge.  These roadworks are part of a long  term project to improve traffic flow and to help users of the public transport system (particularly the bus network). Some roads will be closed off to cars and some bus stops will move to a different place. See map below of the new changes. More details can be found on the Nyon council site .


 Decision on show with controversial performer to be made next week.

The decision to on whether to let Dieudonné, the French stand up comedian perform in Nyon at the Théâtre de Marens will be taken by Nyon council next week. The performer is scheduled to perform here from the 3rd to the 5th February. Dieudonné’s shows have recently been cancelled in France (see article in the Independent newspaper here) having being labelled as ‘antisemitic’ and at the moment Nyon is one of the remaining venues still scheduled on the performer’s itinerary. In the light of  possible public disorder, and the show attracting demonstrations from various protest groups, the council will announce their decision on the situation on Tuesday.

Meet former greats of Swiss football tomorrow at Caribana – Workshops for budding footballers

Tomorrow it’s Caribateens over at the Caribana grounds. This day is dedicated to teenagers, with music and activities laid on read all about them, ticket prices, etc here Also on the grounds tomorrow, Patrick Müller and Pascal Zuberbühler, two former greats of  Swiss football, will be putting in an appearance. It’s a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with great champions!

Patirck Mueller

On 9 June, the day after the Switzerland v Cyprus World Cup Qualifier, Patrick Müller and Pascal  Zuberbühler (“Zubi”), two major stars of Swiss football, will be at the Caribana Festival. This will be a unique opportunity for the public to meet them and to take part in training exercises prepared specially for the occasion by Patrick Müller, one of the most gifted Swiss footballers of his generation. The workshops will be open to budding footballers of all levels. “Zubi”, the former Swiss national  goalkeeper and six-time Swiss champion with Grasshopper Club and FC Basel 1983, will be putting his gloves back on for the penalty shoot-out exercises. The girls of top Swiss women’s league side FC Yverdon Féminin will also be at the festival, giving valuable tips on ball control and juggling.

Patrick Müller was a classy defender with great finesse who won 81 caps for Switzerland. He  currently works in UEFA’s commercial operations unit and has the pleasure of training the  organisation’s women’s team. He is a big supporter of the UEFA European Women’s Under-17  Championship, which takes place on 25 and 28 June at Stade de Colovray in Nyon.  More information on the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship is available on UEFA’s website.



Caribana day 2: More sun, crazy potatoes and English bands

Caribana Day 2 reviewed here by Jonas Parson – Jonas is studying at the University of Lausanne and has written various festival, band and  music reviews  for this site.

All photos by Jonas.

Although Caribana has a somewhat long tradition of inclement weather during the festival, it looks as though the curse has been broken after a second day of fantastic weather on the Crans lakeside. The grounds filled up gradually, as more and more people arrived to chill out and watch their favourite bands. Spirits were high as people were glad to enjoy the sun at last and sit down in the grass for a drink, some music and something to eat.

The grounds are really small at Caribana, set on the lakeside with an amazing view of the lake from two of the bars, amidst trees- some of which are actually used to hold up f the lighting!  consequently, it feels really cosy.


But the price to pay for such nice settings is getting here- especially if you have to come by bus. The timetables are rather limited (two buses an hour from Nyon) to get there, and it’s even worse coming back! Riding to the festival was quite an experience – even more so as we haven’t gotten use to the warmth yet, and a quarter of an hour of stuffy jam-packed bus ride wasn’t exactly what anybody was looking for!


Taking photos in a crowded bus is quite a challenge!

But what the festival lacks in organisation- you can feel this is a tiny festival, nothing on the scale of Paléo for example-, it makes up for with the settings and very tranquil spirit. This makes for a very composite crowd, families with small children, youngsters roaming around (well, roaming might not exactly be possible at Caribana, say strolling), and festival goers in their twenties – the natural fauna of a festival?- to older folk, here for a nice night out with friends. This unique setting tends to make people quite attached to this little festival, and the faithful are here every year.

If you get lost or need some information, these helpful helpers will help you find your way with a smile. Strolling around the grounds, they are easily recognisable by their trendy orange waistcoats.

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They’ll even tell you when you can get a bus!

This year’s must in term of food are these crazy potatoes- basically a long crisp rolled around a stick. Delicious and rather cool looking!

Crazy pots upside

 But the success of a festival is most importantly made by the people, not by the food stalls, (although there are quite a few really nice ones, including a delicious bruschetta bar), so here’s the portrait of a couple of people met on the grounds.

First of all, Petros, this lively young man originally from Zambia has been living in Switzerland for 6 years, and spends the festival season going around Switzerland selling hats and sunglasses- the typical festival stall. Last week was Festineuch, then there’ll be Greenfield, before Montreux Jazz and Paleo in July. What a life! Dancing and saluting passers by in front of his stall when he wasn’t selling a pair of bright pink sunglasses, he was slightly critical of the music coming from the stage, although it didn’t stop him from dancing to it.

Petros zoomed

Valerie and Pierre-André came all the way from Fribourg to watch Archive – Pierre-André had seen them in Cannes this year and wanted to take his partner to see them, even in crutches, as this was Archive’s only concert in Switzerland! They really enjoyed the unique atmosphere of this small festival, and were appreciating the view over the lake when I met them. Regular festival goers, they then choose the night they’ll come on depending on the line-up. They were really impressed with how well they were welcomed and helped, what with the crutches and all.


Pierre-André and Valerie

Spread out in the grass, a cloth bag on his head, Jorisse was hard to miss, in a very festivalish attitude. Come from Yverdon with Marion to see The Heavy, it was his first time at Caribana, and he was really enjoying the atmosphere of the small festival. Marion suggested that there should be a holiday after each festival, as getting up next morning was always a bit of a challenge…


 The evening kicked off with “Take Me Home”, a pop band from Geneva. The three musicians were quite energetic, even though the crowd wasn’t very big and a lot of people were just sitting around having a drink. But by the time 77 Bombay Street came on stage on the main stage, the grounds were full and people were pressing forward to watch the Swiss German quartet of brothers. In their trademark uniforms, and with lots of punch they charmed their audience with all of their most famous songs, from “Up in the Sky“, to “47 Millionaires” and “I love Lady Gaga”. Although the crowd was quite calm to start with, everybody was clapping to the music at the end of the concert, and the most dedicated fans at the front were dancing about. The band thanked the crowd and promised they would be back soon!


Next on was Andy Burrows. This multi-talented musician from Winchester (he started of as a drummer, and plays the drums for We are scientists, but also plays solo as a guitarist and songwriter) delivered his folky indie-pop for the delight of the crowd in front of the scène du lac. He made everyone happy, from the enthusiasts who wanted to dance, to the people who were glad to be able to sit down and have a bite while listening to some nice music- neither too calm as to make you fall asleep, nor too loud to make it impossible to have a chat. Burrows himself was quite lively, never standing still – as you can see on the photo below, he even played while standing on one foot for some reason!


Andy Burrows, the flamingo musician

The crowd had grown constantly since the beginning of the evening, and it was now hard to make your way through the festival, zigzagging between people sitting down or queuing for food. By the way, you can always tell when you’re in a festival in Switzerland. It’s that place where you can still get to eat a raclette and see people walking around with bottles of Swiss wine and wine glasses.


As there are only two stages on the grounds, the schedule is quite tight- one band at a time playing alternately on the main stage and the “lake” stage. Night was falling as Archive walked on stage, with their new and charismatic young vocalist, who brought soul touches to the trip-hop of this British band. Starting off with three of the band on the keyboards, and quite a melodic tune, they then went on to some heavier stuff, to the delight of the crowd gathered to see them.



Never too young for a festival! A lot of kids came to watch the music with their parents, enjoying the sweet stall on site and watching the music as best they could, whether on the shoulders of their parents or sitting on a rubbish bin.

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 As the night fell, I came across two kids fast asleep next to their mother, lying down on a rug behind the crowd in front of the Archive concert


The rouge FM bar even has a game of Just Dance! much to the pleasure and amusement of these ladies. Getting warmed up before the real stuff!



 What a better way to decorate the entrance to the toilets than to let some graffiti artists come and paint them?




The view from one of the lakeside bars


People sitting down for a bite-including a very well organised (oh so swiss!) festival goer

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The lights play tricks on the crowd


Caribana Night 1- From Pimms to Pirates, Crowd surfing to Caipirinhas

skin zoomed in part 2

Photo above: “Skin” crowd surfing.

Caribana began in fine style on Wednesday night on the first night of the four day festival. The weather stayed warm and dry and the emphasis of the music was on rock, heavy rock, grunge and rock, rock and roll. Kill it Kid from Bath in the UK began the evening on the lake stage, followed by Motorhead an hour later over at the Grande Scène. Lead singer “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motorhead set the pace by shouting out to the crowd, “Is it loud enough for you?” before ramping up the volume. There were some in the crowd you thought it could have been even louder and that Lemmy was a tad subdued, nevertheless the band went on to play old favourites: “Ace of Spades” , “Going to Brazil” and other tracks from their new album.

“Occupy Taksim” sign in crowd

There was a brief moment when protesters in the crowd brought out an ” Occupy Taksim” sign (in reference to the recent unrest in Turkey) before they moved away from the crowd and to the side of the grounds.

Photo below of Pierre-Edouard and Maria, two Motorhead fans from Geneva. It was Pierre-Edouard’s 8th Motorhead concert!


After Motorhead, the rockers at the festival were there then left were in fine mood for Skunk Anansie who brought not only an impressive light show to their stage act, but an explosive energy to the Caribana grounds.  “Skin”  the charismatic lead singer is a consummate performer, and apart from a few technical issues at the start,  it was a good set, topped at the end by an impressive bit of  superb crowd surfing.

What’s new this year on the grounds?   - Bar on the beach. Opportunity to buy tickets to V.I.P bar.

There are the usual favourites this year at Caribana as in previous years – the Brazil bar with friendly staff serving Caipirinhas, the various other bars serving beer and wine. This year the theme and logo of the festival is “Pirate”s and  the beer glasses are emblazoned with pirate faces. There is also a Pimms stand in the centre of the eating and drinking area, so lots of choice for everyone.   There are the usual stalls selling  jewelry, hats and boots in case of bad weather. Note – this year false flooring has been placed around many areas on the grounds to prevent the ground turning into a quagmire. Also new this year, an  opportunity to buy categories of tickets to the festival, reduced, normal, golden and platinum. The latter two categories are more expensive  as they offer entrance tickets, 2 meals at the port of Crans, plus access to the VIP bar. See here for booking details-

New to La Platforme bar this year are steps going right down to the beach and lake, a sort of mini Cannes at Caribana. This bar is for 18+ only. The bar early on in the evening was a haven of peace away from the crowds, see photo below, but it became busy later on.

See some of the atmosphere of the first night in the photos below.  All photos C. Nelson-Pollard.

Also new this year, Caribana has a team of writers who are also writing in English, so you can read their observations about the other bands and the music played  last night on the Scène du Lac stage on the Caribana website.

On the line up tonight on Day 2  of Caribana – 77 Bombay St, Archive, Kaiser Chiefs, Take Me Home, Andy Burrows and The Heavy.




Motorhead drummer zoomed

Below –   The calm of the the Platform bar before the crowd arrived –  Steps leading down to the beach



Below – Pimms anyone?


Photo below Stall ready to serve lots of Caipirinhas



Boots in case of bad weather – thankfully the forecast is good for the next few days


 More photos of the evening from the lake stage – Kill it Kid, The Animen, The Coronas.





The Coronas zoomed

Interview with Tony Lerch, director of Caribana – Giving a warm welcome to musicians and music lovers

On Wednesday 5th June, the lake side around Crans près Céligny will be rocking to the sound of Motor Head and Skunk Anansie, two of the headline acts playing on the first night at the 2013 Caribana festival.

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Photo above: Skunk Anansie  – courtesy Caribana Festival

This festival first began 23 years ago when a group of friends headed by Tony Lerch  (now director of the festival) organised a small  musical event at the port of Crans. That first free event  focussed on tropical and Caribbean music, since then the festival has evolved into one of the festivals in Swiss Romandie playing a variety of genres of music from rock, to reggae, folk, indie soul, grunge, blues and more.

Living in Nyon spoke to Tony Lerch  to find out how the festival manages to attract the major names in the rock and pop industry to play at the lake side venue.

Caribana Festival 2010Nyon / Switzerland09.06.2010Photo Alain Grosclaude

 Photo above: Tony Lerch – Director of Caribana Music Festival

A “Welcome Programme”  from sailing to wine tasting – A mini-holiday for the artistes

“Having a stunning setting helps. It’s pretty special, the artists love it. We also give them the opportunity to discover more of the area before they go on stage.  The bands and singers receive a “Welcome Programme” when they arrive here with a list of activities available to them. We offer a sailing trip on the lake, that in itself is beautiful. We sail past some interesting sights on the way, we point out the UEFA building, Michael Schumacher’s house, the Chateau of Prangins, Ernesto Bertorelli’s house (the 2003 America’s Cup winner). Not only is a boat trip impressive but with the backdrop of the Alps and Mont Blanc behind them, it’s a pretty cool way to warm up the artists before they go on stage! If they don’t want to go sailing, they are given the option of cycling or walking in the vineyards with a chance to visit a local wine cellar. The only thing we ask them not to do is to participate in any risky sports, or swim too long in the lake and catch cold. We want them to stay safe be in good shape to play on the stage that night.

Bike day, lake pics and inaug of Niedermeyer 025

 Jim Kerr and filets de perche

I think the artists love it, it’s a sort of mini-holiday for them because although it’s a big named festival, it still remains very intimate. They can walk along the side of the lake and mix with the public if they want to. There was an occasion a few years ago when Jim Kerr of “Simple Minds” chose not to eat at the artiste’s restaurant but to wander down to the port and have “filets de perches” there. Brian Ferry came back to visit and ate at a restaurant that he remembered when he played here.

Caribana 2011 Ist night Crowd

Photo above: First night at Caribana 2011 – C. Nelson-Pollard

Having said that our very position right next to the lake means that it’s not that easy for the roadies. We have a bizarre shaped ground for a festival, and it’s not ideal for shifting stuff around. In addition it’s a very narrow path to carry gear down from the trucks to the stage, and the roadies have to carry and transport everything by hand. These days most rock festivals have automatic loading equipment. Some of the bands comment on this and say it’s like playing at rock festival from many years ago. Although it obviously makes it tricky for logistical purposes, it also add to the atmosphere, everyone lends a hand to get the show on stage.

Imagine Dragons to play – Robbie Williams, the one that got away.

In addition to the setting, word of mouth helps to attract some of the big named bands: they hear about its reputation and want to come along. We are proud that we often identify bands at the start of their career just before they take off and we manage to book them early on. We are really pleased that  “Imagine Dragons” are playing with us on Saturday night this year – they have recently become a huge hit.  There have been musicians that we identified and we booked early on that became so massive in the following months they simply became too expensive for us to take. A case in point is Robbie Williams, we booked him in October 1997 for the following year’s Caribana. He then released  “Angels” which went on to become massive, his album skyrocketed and he was in great demand. We could no longer afford him which was a great shame.  It was the same kind of story with “The Corrs”.

Having said that, there have been quite a few names who have played here first as a relatively unknown on one of the smaller stages and they went on to  do bigger things, such as Faceless, Charlie Winston, and Nelly Furtado who we did book early on in their careers. The bands and artists on the smaller stages here at Caribana are always definitely worth going to see – they too may go on to greater success and you will have had the chance to see them close up at Caribana.

32,000 spectators in 2010

As to Tony Lerch’s own favourite type of music? “Well it’s no secret  that I am a big fan of  The Police, and I really like reggae, but I’m interested in all kinds of music. We have had some great nights with big and small artists over the past 20 or so years. We peaked at 32,000 spectators back in 2010 and since then have levelled out at around 30,000. The financial crisis has affected us and other festivals a bit, tickets aren’t selling as fast as they used to. All festival organisers are finding times as bit tougher. I think there are many, many festivals over Switzerland over the summer so competition is keen between us all, but conversely this means it’s good for the general public. They get to have a big choice of where they can go and spend their money.   I am glad they are still choosing Caribana!

Caribana 3rd night 2011 Plan B 3

Photo above: Caribana 2012  – C. Nelson-Pollard

Volunteers welcome!

Like many festivals in Switzerland, Caribana depends on the good will and enthusiasm of its volunteers on site and on the committee which works throughout the year  to help run such a big event. “There isn’t anyone on the committee who is paid to do the job including me – we all do it for the love of the festival. We value our volunteers enormously, it’s getting a little bit harder to take on young volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 due to new laws that have been implemented in Switzerland, but if anyone is interested in volunteering on site here, even if their French isn’t that great, we will happily consider them for a future festival.

Putting the area on the map

Back when we first started the festival, very few people used to know about the grounds that we use here at Caribana, just  the local residents – now we have really put it on  the map. We also keep evolving: this year the Sunday is for teenagers, with “Caribateens” . We saw that other towns were offering events for teenagers but there wasn’t much in this area, so we came up with the idea of a day dedicated to them.  This year we have other changes on the grounds for the public: there will be steps down onto the beachside, and there’s more. We look  forward to another good year and thankfully the weather is  now improving and looking very promising for another great festival.

At the time of publishing there were still tickets available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Saturday is sold out). Click here for more info. if you are not able to go, Living in Nyon will be reporting from the festival each day, on the bands, the new changes on the site, the atmosphere, and of course, the music!

Caribana 2012 dancing festival goers

 Photo above: Party Time at Caribana 2012 – C. Nelson-Pollard