Summer Festivals : The Best Live Music in the Alps

The Alps might not be the first place you think of for music festivals but we’re actually spoilt for choice, with heaps of big names playing lesser-known venues all throughout the summer, and Chamonix is right at the centre of many of them.

As well as the fantastic mountain location, you’ll often find that ticket prices are a lot cheaper than in the UK and you also get to see your idols perform in much smaller, more intimate venues. Here are our favourite summer festivals near to Chamonix.

Fete de la Musique party in Chamonix

Fete de la Musique – the music season kicks off with this crazy celebration that’ll have you dancing in the streets of Chamonix all night long! Fete de la Musique is a national event that is celebrated throughout France every midsummer’s eve, and Chamonix really pulls out all the stops. There’ll be open-air concerts in the centre of town throughout the day, then live bands and DJs playing in most of the bars and clubs late into the night. Normal licensing laws are waived for the occasion, so you can keep on partying until the sun comes up!
21 June, Chamonix
Chamonix accommodation in June

Musique en Stock music festival in Cluses

Musique en Stock – this small but fun festival is just 30 minutes from Chamonix in the small town of Cluses. A big stage is put up in the town square and everyone gathers to rock out for the night to bands with a mostly indie and alternative vibe. This year’s line-up include Matt Corby, Temples, and American soul singers Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires. The full schedule has not yet been finalised but previous years have thrown up last minute surprises such as Stereophonics, Suzanne Vega, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Asian Dub Foundation. Get down there for a great night out, buses can booked through our partners at Haute Transfer.
30 June – 2 July, Cluses (30min from Chamonix)
Chamonix transfers & taxis

Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland

Montreux Jazz Festival – one of the most well established jazz festivals in the world, Montreux celebrates it’s 50th birthday this year with international musicians including Jamie Cullum, Herbie Hancock, ZZ Top, PJ Harvey, Slayer, Lisa Simone, Jean-Michel Jarre, Neil Young, Lana Del Ray, Van Morrison and many more invited to join the party. Small stages, food stands and market stalls line the waterfront and there are plenty of free concerts to enjoy – just grab a beer and chill out on the grass. The paying concerts take place later in the night, along with various jam sessions and throughout the day there are jazz boats sailing round the lake with live concerts on board. Take your swimmers, a picnic and make a day of it!
1-16th July, Montreux (1h30 from Chamonix)
Chamonix accommodation in July

Musilac – one of the most chilled out festivals of the summer beside Lac Bourget in the beautiful spa town of Aix-Les-Bains. Big enough to feel like a “proper” festival but small enough to feel very friendly and relaxed. Musilac festival brings an intriguing mix of surprisingly big names alongside quirkier new artists. This year you can expect to see Elton John, Lilly Wood and the Prick, Amy Macdonald, Birdy Nam Nam, Foals, Savages, and more.
8-10 July, Aix-Les-Bains (1h20 from Chamonix)
Chamonix summer activities

Paleo music festival in Nyon, Switzerland

Paleo – this festival just over the Swiss border past Geneva attracts bands that would usually only play big sell-out venues in the UK; so this is your chance to see legends like Muse, Iron Maiden, Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers without having to peer at them from the back of a tiered stadium. There’s also plenty of less high profile but popular indie bands such as The Lumineers and unmissably eccentric acts like bagpipe maestros the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
19-24 July, Nyon (1h20 from Chamonix)
Chamonix transfers & taxis

Cosmojazz – again, we don’t have to travel far for this musical extravaganza, it happens right here in Chamonix! Primarily a jazz festival, but also including diverse types of music from all around the world, Cosmojazz brings music to the mountains – quite literally. As well as a huge programme of concerts in Chamonix town, you can also expect to stumble across grand pianos at the tops of mountains, jazz trios in cable cars, funk bands beside alpine lakes, classical divas performing amongst the glaciers… grab yourself a lift pass and the possibilities are endless. The line-up has not yet been confirmed but there is always a huge variety of concerts to pack in to just one week. Some require tickets but many are completely free of charge.
23-31 July, Chamonix
Chamonix summer lift passes

Gampel OpenAir Music Festival in Switzerland

Open Air Gampel – Metal heads and rock fans gather each summer in the unlikely location of Gampel, a picturesque and usually quiet Swiss village just past Sion to mosh their little hearts out over a long weekend of loud live music. This year’s bill has Eagles of Death Metal, Biffy Clyro, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and various bands with umlauts in their names.
18-21 August, Gampel (1h30 from Chamonix)
Summer activities in the Alps

In addition to all the different festivals, Chamonix also has a thriving live music scene with plenty going on throughout the summer from acoustic sets, to jazz bands, classic music and DJs – keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the latest events.

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Summer of Adventure : Chamonix Summer Events & Activities

Chamonix is world-famous as a ski resort and winter sports paradise but did you know that’s it’s also an amazing place to visit in summer? Mountains, music and myriad opportunities for adventure await you in Chamonix this summer…

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Mountains
Mountaineers flock to Chamonix from all around the world to challenge themselves amongst the peaks and even summit Mont Blanc. It’s not just for elite alpinists though, there is plenty of opportunity for rock climbing of all types, you can learn new skills on an alpine course, or venture out onto the mythical glaciers of the Vallee Blanche and the Mer de Glace.

Climb Mont Blanc with a Chamonix mountain guide

Summer Events
The summer is jam-packed with events of all sorts including the Marathon du Mont Blanc, Climbing World Championships, Bastille Day, Cosmojazz, Ultratrail du Mont Blanc and more – you can find the main ones listed on our website, or keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the latest updates.
Find Chamonix accommodation for summer events

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in Chamonix
Photo credit : Michel Cottin

On Your Bike
From gnarly downhillers to lithe lycra-clad road bikers, it seems that everyone in Chamonix gets about on two wheels. If you’re one of the mud-covered full-body armour types then you’ll find heaps of single-track, steep descents and challenging cross-country trails to get your teeth into, find more information on Chamonix mountain biking here. If skinny tyres and padded pants are more your thing then Chamonix is definitely the place to be this summer, with no less than 3 stages of the Tour de France taking place within pedalling distance! Get in touch if you want to be part of the action and join us at the start/finish lines.
Find out more about Chamonix lift passes in summer

Chamonix triathlon, bike ride
Photo Credit : Evergreen Endurance

Music Festivals
The big music event of the summer is Fete de la Musique, a celebration that takes place every midsummer. Free concerts, live music and DJs get the whole town dancing in the streets from midday until sunrise the following morning. Throughout the summer you’ll find live music being played almost every day – hip jazz bands at the Maison des Artistes, chilled acoustic sets on the terraces of bars and cafés, DJs spinning tunes late into the night… And if you want big names you don’t have to travel far – this year sees Elton John, Muse, ZZ Top, Amy Macdonald, Jamie Cullum and many more playing in the surrounding area. Not forgetting, of course, the annual Cosmojazz festival right here in Chamonix that keeps on getting bigger and better every year.
Find Chamonix accommodation during the festivals

Cosmojazz Chamonix

Hiking & Trail Running
Run to the hills and immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Chamonix valley is criss-crossed with miles and miles of hiking trails, from easy riverside meanders to high altitude ridges. You’ll discover alpine meadows, ancient glaciers, remote mountain refuges and hopefully spot lots of local wildlife such as marmots and bouquetin on your travels. Hiking with an IML guide makes the trip so much more rewarding as they have a wealth of knowledge about the local area, flora, fauna, etc and know the valley inside out. If you’re looking to improve your fitness or are training for a race, you can hit the trails with a qualified running coach and multiple ultra trail finisher to pick up lots of top tips and expert advice.
Find out more about Chamonix lift passes in summer

hiking-chamonix-fiz-cows-01

La Vie en Rose
One of the best things about life in France is enjoying the simple pleasures of a warm croissant at a café first thing in the morning, trying out the lingo and sampling local cheese at the market, dipping your toes in a crystal clear lake on a hot day, spotting a timid chamois amongst the pine trees, sipping a cold rosé whilst watching the sunset turn the mountains pink… once you come, you’ll never want to leave!
Find Chamonix accommodation this summer

Chamonix in summer with flowers and Mont Blanc