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 Fun – Music & Festivals in Chamonix

With the exciting news that the Maison des Artistes is due to open next weekend (Saturday 6th June), we thought we’d have a look at what music events are happening in and around Chamonix this summer.

Maison des Artistes ChamonixOpening 6th June – La Maison des Artistes

This exciting new project aims to combine a jazz club with a recording studio, where musicians of all backgrounds can meet up to jam together, hold masterclasses, organise workshops and put on concerts. As well as a studio La Maison des Artistes will also be a live music venue with a bar, a terrace and hopefully a great line-up of concerts all year round! With the summer lift system opening the following week, there’ll be plenty to do during the day and then you can relax in the evening and enjoy the music.
Chamonix in summer

Fete de la Musique Chamonix21st June – Fete de la Musique

The national music festival that keeps the whole of France dancing all night long! La Fete de la Musique is a celebration of all types of music – Chamonix embraces the vibe by having free concerts in the streets and squares, in the bars and restaurants, pretty much anywhere and everywhere… The night culminates in a big street party crammed into the tiny old district of Rue des Moulins, which goes on until the sun comes up the next morning. You can clear your head the next day with a bracing hike in the mountains, or maybe just take it easy and chill out at one of the many spas in the area.
Find Chamonix accommodation during Fete de la Musique

Musique en Stock Cluses1-5th July – Musiques en Stock

This free outdoor concert in the nearby town of Cluses offers the chance to see some well-known bands without having to queue for tickets or pay a penny. This year’s line-up includes Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Suzanne Vega. The small town takes on a buzzing festival vibe with food stalls and beer tents lining the square where the big stage is set up. If you don’t have your own transport then contact us to book your own 8 seater “tour bus” for just 35€ per person.
Find Chamonix accommodation during Musiques en Stock

Montreux Jazz Festival3rd-18th July – Montreux Jazz Festival

The world famous Montreux Jazz Festival takes place every year on the banks of Lake Geneva, just an hour or so from Chamonix. Established in 1967 the festival has welcomed all the greats from Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald to Prince and Deep Purple. No longer purely a jazz festival, the line-up encompasses all types of music and this year features Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and many more. Tickets for the big names sell out quick, so visit the Montreux Jazz website now to book yours! Accommodation in Montreux can be scarce and expensive, so stay in Chamonix and let us sort out comfortable transport to the festival venue and back.
Find Chamonix accommodation during Montreux Jazz Festival

Chamonix Cosmojazz Festival25th July-2nd August – Cosmojazz

This time Chamonix is right at the heart of the festival! The Cosmojazz is a week-long soirée of live concerts, jam sessions and parties in amazing venues that take you out of your theatre seats and into the mountains… African beats beside a glacier, Latin rhythms amongst the peaks of Mont Blanc and jazz quartets in Alpine meadows. All the bars and music venues of Chamonix will also be hosting a massive variety of concerts, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. Best of all is that most of them are free, so you can wander round and enjoy a bit of everything. All summer activities are in full swing at this time of year and it really is a fantastic time to come and see Chamonix at it’s best, so what are you waiting for?
Find accommodation during Cosmojazz