Party for Paléo in centre of Nyon plus a mixture of old and new music at festival

Party for Paléo plus oldies and newies scheduled to play – by Jonas Parson

The line-up for the 40th edition of Paléo Festival was revealed in Nyon today by both Daniel Rossellat, the boss of Paléo and Jacques Monnier, head of programming. As Daniel Rossellat reflected, the 40th anniversary of a music festival is always a very special moment, especially since none of them knew the project would last this long – and is set out to last much longer! A 7th day has been added this year to the festival to celebrate it in style so with a series of big stars and musical legends, the 40th Paléo Festival will once again be a great week of music and celebration.

It will also be the occasion to thank Nyon and the surrounding area, with a big party in town on the 18th July.  All the volunteer workers at Paléo will be the focus of a book specially edited for the festival called “Complices en Coulisses”.  There will be a special show on Friday 24th by Vincent Kucholl and Vincent Veillon, called “120 secondes presente le Paléo” which will look back on the history of the festival with the usual tongue in the cheek humour and audacity that the two Swiss satirists have become known for.

Robert Plant - Paléo

Photo above – courtesy Paléo – Robert Plant

A day for memories: Musical legends on Saturday

The 40th anniversary milestone was the perfect excuse, explained Daniel Rossellat, to bring back some of the bands that have marked the history of the festival- and indeed, the history of music over the last 40 years. Saturday night is set out to be an evening of legends, with Robert Plant, Joan Baez and Patti Smith performing at l’Asse.

Joan Baez

Photo above – courtesy Paléo  Joan Baez

As Rossellat quite aptly put it, it will be a night for the older generations to see the bands that made the music of their youth, and for the younger generations, the perfect opportunity to see some of the most important bands of the 20th century.

Rossellat retold the story of Joan Baez’s first concert at Paléo, in July 1982- they’d received a letter the year before asking if they would be interested if she came to Nyon (they were thrilled!), and when she did come, the Festival beat their own records, with over 22,000 people having bought tickets, and traffic jams all the way to Coppet and Gland (great news for Rossellat, less so for the police officer who was trying to keep things slightly organised)

Patti Smith will be performing the whole of her début album “Horses”, which came out exactly 40 years ago.

Superstars, friends of the festival and a lot of newcomers

Continuing with the musical giants coming to Nyon this summer, Sting, Johny Hallyday and Veronique Sanson will be playing alongside younger bands such as Kings of Leon, the American rock sensation who are used to filling up stadiums, and will be playing one of their only two dates in Europe this summer, and Passenger– the stage name of English songwriter Michael Rosenberg – who’s song “Let Her Go” topped the charts across the world – including here in Switzerland. He will be presenting his latest album, of which all the proceedings will go to UNICEF.


Photo above – courtesy Paléo- Passenger

Nothing more need be said – a t-shirt said it all a couple of weeks ago– about Robbie William whose super-show will be opening the festival on Monday, this will most probably be an impressive moment. When it comes to regulars invitees of l’Asse (L’Asse is the name of the actual grounds of Paléo) they will make up one third of the line up this year- slightly more than the usual 1/4-3/4 ratio of the festival, due to anniversary nostalgia – Ben Harper will be back again with the freshly reformed Innocent Criminals, for another concert since his first concert in Nyon in 1994. Also back together after several solo projects are Angus and Julia Stone, another band favoured by Paléo, who, as Jacques Monnier explained, enjoy following the progress of some of the bands they invite to the festival.

Angus and Julia Stone

Photo above – courtesy Paléo- Angus and Julia Stone

Back with a new album, always reinventing his music, British dandy Charlie Winston will please the crowd for the second time this summer.
But all these known faces only account for a third of the bands who will be coming, and as usual, it is with all the small and relatively unknown bands that Paléo creates a solid line-up.

Among these, keep an eye out for the wild rhythms and funky beats of hip-hop band Alo Wala, with their electro-hip-hop, Feu! Chatterton and their poetic rock inspired by Bashung and Gainsbourg, Kate Tempest’s energetic flow and the beautiful songs of Benjamin Clementine, young English songwriter whose talent was discovered in the Paris metro.

Alo Wala -Paléo

Photo above – courtesy Paléo – Alo Wala

The Far East between tradition and avant-garde

As always, the Village du Monde is devoted to promoting the culture- both musical and culinary- of a certain area of the world. Showcasing traditional bands, but also and most of all- the newer generations of artists who are innovating on these traditions, so it is opening its doors to China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and their neighbouring countries this year.

Always a perfect place to discover unknown gems, look out for the traditional Japanese drummers of the Tambours de Tokyo, the surprising Jambinai, who use traditional instruments for their very own brand of metal, the Mongolese mix of country and rock with overtone singing by Hanggai, or the solo performance of Wang Li, great specialist of the Jew’s harp!
The ticket office will open next Wednesday, 22nd April, at 12:00, online at, and in certain retail points. Get all the info and the full line-up here

Les Tambours de Tokyo

Photo above – courtesy Paléo – Tambours de Tokyo.

Robbie Williams to play at Paléo

It has been confirmed today (2nd April) that Robbie Williams will definitely play at the 40th edition of Paléo this year. Although the official line up is not due to be announced until the 14th April, the news that the star will headline on the first night of the festival was revealed early to the public via a T shirt!  As the singer had produced a T shirt with his official “Let me entertain you” 2015 tour dates on with Paléo listed as one of the venues on it, the festival organisers were obliged to confirm his presence on the main stage on the Paléo grounds near Nyon on Monday 20th July.

Stromae courtesy Paleo

Photo above and below – courtesy Paléo – crowds at the sold out and very successful Stromae concert in 2014

Tickets go on sale on the 22nd April 2015 from midday. Get in line or online on the day! Tickets always sell out fast.

Robbie 1



Victorian tour of Geneva by Diccon Bewes Sat 28 March – Win Paléo Tickets

On Saturday 28th March, Diccon Bewes will be giving a guided Victorian tour of Geneva. The tour begins at 15:00 (meet at Payot bookshop in Cornavin railway station at 14:30). Diccon is the author of the very successful books  “Swiss Watching”,  (“a best book of 2010″ – Financial Times) and  “Slow Train to Switzerland

Diccon comments on all things Swiss related and will be dressed up in Victorian costume for the tour itself!  Details here

For non-English speakers, a simultaneous French translation will be provided by Hadi Barkat. A unique opportunity to discover a new outlook on the city.  This should be an  entertaining stroll! Diccon  will end this tour with a signing of his books in English and in French.

Jpeg Diccon

 Nyon events –  Win Paléo tickets

Other events, tonight (Friday 27th March) there will be Celtic music at the 1306 Club ( ruelle de la poterne in Nyon) starting at 2030. Entry free, hat distributed for the artists at the end of the evening.


 Win Paléo tickets

The weekly competition to win Paléo tickets has now begun on the festival’s website and it continues until the 25th May. To play, click here 

The full Festival line-up will be announced on Tuesday 14 April! Tickets will go on sale at midday on Wednesday 22 April

Paleo Thursday night 2013 077

 Photo above – Paléo in 2014

Seven days of music next year at Paléo!

The latest news from Paléo is that the music festival will run over seven days in 2015 to celebrate 40 years of the festival! To those new to Nyon and who have never heard of Paléo, it’s an annual event for the town and is one of the biggest rock, pop and music festivals in Europe.  Normally, for six days, the Paléo fields (just above Nyon) are rocking to the sound of music. Next year they will rocking for seven!

Paléo - Ist night 2011 M

There are lots of surprises planned for the celebratory year and they will be revealed at the line up on Tuesday April 14 2015. More details to follow


Paléo Day Five: Mud, Groove and Style

By the time the rain had stopped falling on Saturday, just in time for the beginning of the festival, the grounds were covered in the largest amount of mud since the start of the week. A mix of wet straw, wood shavings, mud and water turned the ground into a swamp with a delicate smell of stables (the award for the worst smell probably goes to the camp-site drying out, the heat making the smell absolutely unbearable).


All photos- Jonas Parson


Mud, mud, mud….

Despite the (very) muddy situation, people came prepared, arming themselves with wellies (or plastic bags tied to their shoes), others took the radical opposite of bare feet for the very satisfactory feeling of mud oozing between your toes.


Ditch the shoes!

The heavy rain having turned l’Asse into a swamp, all the car parks have been closed (this goes for Sunday too!) and most of the train stops above the festival turned into impromptu car parks, as people left their car there before taking the train down to Paléo. The trains coming down, having no extra carriages or even extra trains (they only run once an hour on the weekend, and the extra trains only run between Nyon and l’Asse) were bursting with people.

Le Muids station, unusually busy

Le Muids station, unusually busy and full of cars

If rain can some times dampen spirits, mud tends to have the opposite effect, and the mixture of mud, dry weather and general festival-related motivation made for a great vibe on the grounds. People jumped in puddles, skidded through the mud, slipped and slid up the slopes, to the great amusement of onlookers.

 From pop hearthrobs to stylish tango and hip-hop

Music-wise, their was a clear separation between the line-up of the Grande Scène and that of most of the rest of the stages. The main stage was the temple of pop and French “variété” on Saturday night, Vanessa Paradis starting off the evening, before a double serving of pop heartthrobs, Julien Doré then James Blunt. This kind of music not exactly being my cup of tea, I only saw a couple of songs from James Blunt’s concert (out of the most serious professional sense of duty), who played in front of a giant screen with animations directly linked to his songs, incorporating lyrics of the songs as they were being sung (impressive visual shows seem to have become the norm with famous bands)

Some family fun despite the mud

Some family fun despite the mud

The Arches and the Détour hosted a groovier night, with a series of world-class hip-hop artists. The Coup delivered their socially and politically engaged texts with about as much class and punch as is possible. The American sextet who have been playing for the past twenty years are still just as impressive and passionate.

The traditional sunflowers have been replaced by wildflowers this year, to let the earth regenerate

The traditional sunflowers have been replaced by wildflowers this year, to let the earth regenerate

Following up at the Détour, poetess Akua Naru, American hip-hop artist who has settled down in Germany, made the whole of the tent move to her incredible cocktail of top quality jazz and energetic hip-hop. Critically acclaimed by jazz connoisseurs and the hip-hop scene since she brought out her breakthrough album out three years ago, Akua Naru delivers her message of love, justice and female empowerment with style. Dreadlocks flowing down to her waist, she engaged with the crowd, saying she reckoned the 10 hours it had taken to get to the festival (thank you traffic jams!) were worth each and every frustrating second for the amazing moment she got to share with us. “Do you realise, that right now on stage, I am a woman, and I am making hip-hop?” she called out to the crowd, before listing a list of all the women who have shaped the landscape of hip-hop, and launching into an homage to Lauryn Hill from the Fugees.

Akua Naru gave a performance reminiscent of the best 80’s hip-hop concerts, making the crowd go crazy, with the added value of a series of very good musicians for one of the best concerts of the week.


Tango awesomeness

But if one might think that more class and style would be impossible to find, the band playing at the Dôme showed that it was. Plaza Francia, the new tango project led by Catherine Ringer,ex-member of the Rita Mitsuko, in collaboration with two musicians of Gotan Project was a moment of pure magic. The sleek and racy class of Gotan Project’s special brand of tango, mixed with the utmost elegance of Catherine Ringer delighted the crowd that had flocked to see this amazing concert. Dancing to the music in an incredible red dress, the 57 year old rock icon was as stylish as ever. The band played mostly original scores, but finished the concert with cult songs from their respective repertoire, including the cult “Marcia Baila”.

Straight after the concert, the place to be was definitely l’Escale. This tiny stage situated in a tent in the Village du Monde hosts intimate sets by some of the bands scheduled under the Dôme. La Yegros, an argentinian singer who plays a amazing electro-cumbia was on after her earlier concert at 17:00. The intimate setting was perfect and the small enthusiastic crowd danced to the sexy groovy sound of La Yegros’ voice. You can find today’s program for l’Escale here.


La Yegros at L’escale

IMG_2899 IMG_2888

Migrant music

Che Sudaka, a band of argentinian ad columbian musicians based in Barcelona, where they started off as illegal migrants and street musicians, were the next band to rock the Dôme. Their electrifying mix of ska, punk and cumbia delighted the crazed crowd, their energy and joy communicating with everybody under the tent. In between messages of solidarity with the Palestinian people and migrants all over the world (they have great parody of Sting’s Englishman In New York about illegal migrants), the quartet jumped up and down with their guitars and accordion (quite an impressive feat actually), before one of the singers sang an entire song whilst crowd surfing. If you want to check their crazy show, they are playing again on Sunday at 16:00!

Finishing the night with a DJ set at les Arches has become a tradition at Paléo, and the French Monsieur Oizo was responsible for some serious body-shaking as people moved as one large, rather muddy entity.