Jul 17, 2024Jul 20, 2024
Gurtenkulm 3084,
From 121 Swiss francs

Bern's local mountain Gurten plays host to the aptly-named Gurtenfestival every year. The festival is a great mix of genres and gives four days of amazing entertainment in the fresh mountain air.

What is Gurtenfestival

First held way back in 1977 as an International Folk Festival, Gurtenfestival has since transformed into a four-day long festival that celebrates contemporary music of all kinds, and draws tens of thousands of visitors. However, it has still managed to retain the charm and laid-back atmosphere of a folk festival, even while people might be getting down to Burna Boy or the Chemical Brothers instead of some acoustic guitar.

One of the great features is that as well as world-class, international acts, they have the Forest Stage (Waldbühne) on which only Swiss artists play. As well as hosting the most popular Swiss artists around, they also have a competition every year to find the up-and-comers that might go on to stardom. Catch Eurovision 2024 winner Nemo there on Thursday night, or just swing by and maybe see the next big thing!

This year, they also have beat-making workshops every afternoon, run by Helvetiarockt, which are aimed at girls, women, inter, a-gender, trans and non-binary people to open the world of electronic music up to more people. 

Headliners for Gurtenfestival 2024

There are hundreds of artists playing over the course of the festival and half the fun is finding new musicians that you never knew you needed in your life until you saw them live! However, it's always nice to know who the big hitters are. This year, the star names are:

  • Burna Boy
  • Stormzy
  • Nelly Furtado
  • Peter Fox
  • Justice
  • Patent Ochsner

Video credit: Youtube / Gurtenfestival Bern

Getting to Gurtenfestival

You might be thinking "up a mountain? How am I meant to get there?!", but don't worry, the organisers have it all under control. Your festival ticket and wristband are valid for return journeys on buses, trams and the S-Bahn within the Libero 100/101 zones in Bern, so arriving by public transport is very easy.

The festival itself is very close to the terminus station of the Gurtenbahn mountain railway, and journeys on that are free for festival goers. However, if you want to avoid the queues for this train, you can walk up the mountain instead. The path departs from near the Gurtenbahn start station and takes 20-40 minutes to walk.

This is not a camping festival, so you need to get home or to your hotel again each evening. With that in mind, the Gurtenbahn runs until 5.30am every night of the festival, and there are shuttle buses included that will take you on to either the festival car park or Bern train station. Moonliner buses are also running an extended timetable around the area during the festival, and BLS trains are running late-night / early-morning trains to nearby Thun, Langau, Fribourg and Biel.

Tickets for Gurtenfestival

You can get tickets for Gurtenfestival from the Gurtenfestival website. They also have full information about the lineup, how to get there and merch for sale.