GENEVA (Reuters) – The Montreux Jazz Festival will not be held in July due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first time the Swiss summer festival has not taken place since its launch in 1967, organisers said on Friday.
As the government is keeping most hygiene and social distancing measures in place for now, it is impossible to consider holding an event on such a scale, a statement said. The two-week festival along Lake Geneva draws nearly 250,000 people.
“The programme planned for this summer will be partly carried over to next year’s festival, which will take place from 2 to 17 July 2021,” it added.
Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz were among those booked to play this year, it said.
Last year’s eclectic line-up featured Elton John, Sting, Janet Jackson, Chick Corea and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.
Veteran American producer Quincy Jones, a former co-director of Montreux who still participates each year, calls it the “Rolls-Royce of festivals”.
The festival joins a long list cultural events that have been cancelled or postponed because of lockdowns and measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including concerts, festivals and book fairs.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)