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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