Names can be deceptive. Yes, the Montreux Jazz Festival is… well, a music festival that takes place every year in Montreux, Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva.
However, it’s not just about jazz music (although a splendid line-up of jazz musicians features every year). Over the years, though, a wide range of performers has appeared at the festival, from Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie to Radiohead, The Corrs and the Wu-Tang Clan — none of whom fit comfortably into many people’s idea of jazz.
The festival was founded in 1967 by a music lover and promoter, Claude Nobs, who thought it might encourage visitors to the region. In 2016, as the 50th consecutive festival prepares to get underway, it’s clear he was on the right lines, to say the least. Sadly, Claude died following a skiing accident in 2013, but the festival goes on with exactly the kind of musically diverse line-up he championed for the first four and a half decades. It now attracts 250,000 visitors a year and lasts for two weeks, taking place across 14 stages around the lakeside municipality.
Since 1995, Shure has been a Technical Partner to the Festival, and has provided on-site technical support every year since 1996. Over 1500 Shure products are now used at the Montreux Festival every year, including over 800 wired microphones, and over 100 channels of wireless. Shure is also the headline sponsor for the Montreux Jazz Artist Foundation’s annual Shure Montreux Jazz Voice competition, in which up-and-coming international vocal talents compete to be named Montreux Jazz Voice of the Year — oh, and to share Shure prizes worth 10 thousand Euros. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year, 164 contestants entered, from more than 40 countries.
For more information on the Montreux Festival, and Shure’s role in its operations every year, we have prepared a short video: