Montreux Jazz Festival named best in Europe at international music awards

Montreux Jazz Festival named best in Europe at international music awards

The Montreux Jazz Festival has won the best festival award for 2023 at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). The event in Canton Vaud beat other festival heavyweights like Reading and Hurricane to take the top spot, in what Swissinfo described as the “Oscars” for Europe’s live music scene.

Montreux Jazz Festival wins best festival category for 2023

At a ceremony in London on March 5, the ILMC gave the organisers of the Montreux Jazz Festival the Arthur Award for the best festival. After starting as a joke award ceremony in 1995, the Arthur Awards have evolved to become the “Oscars of the international live music business”, according to the ILMC website. Votes from the general public and selected expert judges are used to determine the winner of each award. 

To claim the top prize, Montreux beat out other famous festivals like Reading & Leeds and British Summer Time Hyde Park in the UK, Primavera Sound in Spain, Roskilde in Denmark and the Hurricane Festival in Germany. It is the second time the festival has won the award, having also claimed the gong in 2011.

“A massive thank you to the public and to our peers in the live music industry who voted for us. We will continue to push the boundaries of what a music festival can be and look forward to welcoming you all to Montreux this summer,” festival director Mathieu Jaton wrote on Instagram.

What is the Montreux Jazz Festival?

Started in the summer of 1967 by chef and tourism promoter Claude Nobs, the festival was designed to attract the music and jazz scene to Switzerland and the banks of Lake Geneva. Over the years, the event and festival has seen performances from all-time Jazz and Blues greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin.

After becoming one of the hottest tickets on the Swiss festival calendar, the event would go on to expand from Jazz into other musical genres, featuring artists and bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, New Order, Prince, David Bowie and Deep Purple - in fact, their hit song Smoke on the Water was inspired by a fire at the Montreux Casino venue in December 1971.

Video: Montreux Jazz Festival / YouTube

The Montreux Jazz Festival in 2023 will run from June 30 to July 15. This year’s lineup will be announced in early April.

Image: / A.PAES

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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