News Headlines     |     


Saturday April 14, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

We're in the Swiss resort for its annual festival, Zermatt Unplugged. It is one of our favourite events in the mountains. Here’s why… NEW

I am beginning to think this is might just be the best music festival in the Alps, and I have been to a few over the years.

From numerous concerts at Ischgl to the Caprices in Crans-Montana and much else in between.   

Others might prefer Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Snowboxx in Avoriaz or Polaris in Verbier, but if Day three at Zermatt Unplugged turns out to be as good as the past two days then the decision will have been made for me.
First the skiing.  

Now I often recommend renting skis as you can then change them according to snow conditions - especially useful at this time of year with the fluctuating temperatures. 

On piste skis for the morning when it is hard packed and icy - fatter ones in the afternoon for when it gets heavy and slushy.

I had popped into the Intersport shop, Dorsaz Sport, to get some Atomic Redsters (left) for the piste and then swapped them for the wider and fatter Atomic Vantages (right).

Thanks Intersport!Thanks Intersport!

The Vantages for the slush?

No, for the powder:

Powder UnpluggedPowder Unplugged

Want to know more about the snow in Zermatt at the moment?

Here is my video snow report that is also posted in our weekly snow report on PlanetSKI.

You get the idea? 

It is absolutely brilliant out on the slopes of Zermatt.

I cannot recommend it highly enough at the moment. 

Second the music.    

Now when I go to these sort of events I always try to find the quirkiest and most original venue.  

It tends to lead to the quirkiest and most original music.

At Zermatt Unplugged this year it is undoubtedly the 15th century chapel in the Winkelmatten area of the village.      

Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged

And performing at this venue?  

Step forward Bruno Bieri and Sandro Schneebeli.

Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged

Here is how the festival guide described them: 

With handpan, alphorn and guitar the musicians go on an expedition into alpine soundscapes.  The mountain calls for an acoustic panorama between alpine jazz and traditionals.

And the duo's first words to the 50 or sell-out crowd packed into the chapel:

 "110 million years ago and Africa and Europe plates pushed together and the Alps with the Matterhorn as its centrepiece were created."

The music reflected the mountains.

Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged

Check out the videos below and see what you make of them:                   

Next on the bill was Selah Sue. 

She has just started a European tour and tonight is only her second performance. 

I had been looking forward to seeing Selah Sue, but sadly it didn't just work for me. 
Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged

And the fault was entirely mine.  

I had been bowled over by the earlier sounds of Bruno and Sandro at the Winkelmatten chapel and this was the polar opposite.  

Even with a great position by the mixing desk I missed the unplugged sounds of Bruno and Sandro.

Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged

24-hours earlier I had seen The Kooks deliver a belter of a performance on the same stage and I just couldn't help casting my mind back. 

In short my mind was elsewhere.  

Everyone else around me seemed to be having the musical time of their life and I'm certain Selah Sue lived up to her reputation and put on a fabulous show. 

I just wasn't in the mood.  

I decided to cut short the gig and make another date to see Selah Sue. 

Maybe she is in the UK over the next few weeks.

Instead I headed to the legendary Hotel Post.   

There were a couple of small bands playing in its labyrinth of rooms and in the main bar loud rock music was being pumped out. 

I sat down to write this blog with Talking Heads, Iggy Pop. Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie as the soundtrack with a large beer (or two) by my side.

I was back in heaven.  

And yes this is the best music festival in the Alps in my personal opinion. 

I wonder where I will be from April 9th to 13th 2019?

Zermatt UnpluggedZermatt Unplugged


For more detail on the Unplugged Festival then see here.

For information about Zermatt here is the resort web site and for details on the skis and snowboards offer by Intersport across the Alps and beyond then see here.   

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news   

Related Articles

BRITISH WEEK IN LES ARCS (Sunday March 17, 2019)
EUROPEAN GAY SKI WEEK 2019 (Friday February 22, 2019)
COMING SOON TO A CINEMA NEAR YOU (Sunday November 25, 2018)
SNOW NIGHT IN KENDAL (Sunday November 18, 2018)
LEST WE FORGET (Tuesday November 13, 2018)
SKIING IN NORTH AMERICA (Monday November 12, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners