Züri Fäscht scrapped after organisers pull the plug
The association behind the famous Züri Fäscht has confirmed that the largest folk festival in Switzerland will be no more. The company said that the increasingly strict rules placed on the festival no longer make it a viable event, with authorities in Zurich now scrambling to find a suitable replacement.
Züri Fäscht 2026 scrapped
In a statement posted to social media, the Zurich Folk Festival Association, the operators of the event, said that Züri Fäscht could not continue “in its current form.” They confirmed that they had terminated their contract with the city, meaning the festival in 2023 will be the last one held in the current format.
Starting as the “Sea Night Festival” in 1932, Züri Fäscht has been a red-letter day in the calendar of Zurich ever since, with almost the entire city centre transformed into a fairground and disco as part of the event. Held every three years, the festival is the largest of its kind in Switzerland - in 2023, it attracted 2,5 million visitors. The next Züri Fäscht was planned for 2026, but will now no longer take place.
New rules in Zurich to blame for the end of Züri Fäscht
Speaking to SRF, the association said that the festival had come under huge strain through decisions made by the local council and what it described as increasing public opposition to the event in general. The ban on air shows, constant debate on the use of fireworks, and stricter rules on waste, recycling and safety meant the festival was no longer considered viable. Local opposition to the noise generated by the event was also cited as an issue.
Spokesperson Andreas Hugi said that the association could no longer afford the “massive additional costs” of holding the festival with the new rules - restrictions he says “simply means that a festival of this size can no longer be held” in Zurich. “We had a hard time with the decision”, he added, but conceded that the festival had grown beyond what they were able to deliver.
Association president Albert Leiser said that they could no longer handle the number of restrictions placed on the event, conceding that “society now obviously has different needs. Times are changing." “It was a wonderful celebration in 2023 and we want it to be remembered that way. The city should now have the chance to design something new.”
Zurich authorities unable to confirm festival in 2026
Speaking to reporters, Mayor of Zurich Corine Mauch said that she respected the decision to scrap the festival, “But I am of the opinion that this is also a great opportunity.” She confirmed that city authorities would now develop their own festival that “meets the demands of today and is perhaps even a little pioneering.”
However, both Mauch and Leiser said that because the city has to start from scratch and find new sponsors, it is unlikely that the next form of Züri Fäscht will take place on time. “It remains to be seen whether the next folk festival will take place in 2026”, concluded Mauch, with Leiser adding that it would be “wrong to say" that a new festival could be organised by that date.
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