The events industry has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, however, this month one of the world’s most famous music festivals is making a comeback. The Caprices Festival returns this week to its perch at the top of the Swiss Alps.
Caprices Weekend 1 was held last weekend and Weekend 2 will be September 24-26. The Caprices Festival is best known for its Glass Stage of Modernity located at the top of the Crans-Montana ski resort in the Swiss Alps. Customers access this stage via a bubble elevator. The freestanding greenhouse-like structure sits 2,200 meters above sea level. Not only does this offer guests a panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains, but it also provides plenty of space and fresh air, which is definitely a priority for most of these days.
To combat the elephant in the room, comprehensive COVID security protocols have been put in place. According to Joseph Bonvin, Chairman of the Boards of Caprices, “This year, Caprices will be all about renewal. We are creating a COVID-free zone inside the festival. This involves checking all festival attendees for the SWISS COVID-check QR code. If festival-goers do not have the QR code because they are coming from outside the EU, they can be tested on site using the SUMMIT clinic test center. With the creation of a COVID-free zone, all restrictions inside the festival will be lifted so that guests can not only feel safe, but also fully enjoy the festival as they have in the past. Essentially, this means that all festival attendees must be fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from COVID-19, or have received a negative test result within the past 72 hours. Onsite COVID testing is also offered free of charge.
The festival also features two more stages this year, the Forest Stage debuted in 2020 and the all new this year is Signal Stage. Both are again accessible by ski gondola, in the mountains of the resort, but they are a bit more intimate than the grand hall feeling of modernity.
The Forest Stage was built in a former intermediate cable car station. The DJ scene is at the center of this round hut and guests can enjoy the forest view while enjoying music from the international range of DJs throughout the weekend. The Signal Stage is located a short walk from the Forest Stage and offers another intimate experience where you feel like you’re in a friend’s barn, but an international DJ just happens to be spinning his new tracks.
When I spoke with Caprices founder Maxime Léonard he was optimistic about how the festival continues to grow and adapt. He declared: “The festival has always known a constant evolution, in terms of infrastructure, programming and image. We have always sought to adapt to new trends and to offer concepts ahead of our time. In the beginning, the festival mainly booked bands like Deep Purple, Iggy Pop, Bjork, Portishead, Cypress Hill and many more live bands. However, we made the drastic decision six years ago to focus solely on electronic music. It was initially seen as a risk, but it is this spirit of constant adventure that makes things new and exciting. “
Headliners this year include Solomun, Apollonia, Hot Since 82 and many more. During the first weekend, there was a duo whose Founder, Maxime Léonard was particularly enthusiastic. “We were happy to have the chance to bring together Luciano and Ricardo Villalobos who delivered an exceptional duet set. These two artists have been involved in the electronic music side of the festival since our beginnings 18 years ago and seeing them perform together is so meaningful to us. But overall we have an impressive lineup and I know our guests are going to be living the time of their lives. “