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FAQ

What is the Waldbühne and where is it located?

The Waldbühne is the third stage at the Gurtenfestival. The festival takes place every year in mid-July on Bern’s local mountain, the Gurten, and is visited by approximately 20’000 people every day. The Waldbühne is located diagonally opposite the main stage and is one of the meeting points at the festival. Almost half of the visitors gather in front of this impressive stage to listen to their favourite acts, sing along and dance. Only Swiss bands play on the Waldbühne. Four of them are selected each year as part of the Waldbühne Contest and open the four most beautiful days of the year with music.

What is the Waldbühne Contest?

The Waldbühne Contest takes place annually, around March/April. A total of four bands are selected to open the Waldbühne at the Gurtenfestival in the same year. Each band gets an opening slot of the four festival days.

More precisely:

Swiss bands can register with an mx3 account from 04 March 2024. This is also when the public voting starts. The bands must therefore manage to mobilise their community to get as many votes as possible. The two bands with the most online votes will automatically qualify for the Waldbühne Contest on 27 April 2024. In addition, an expert jury will nominate four acts for the final from all registered bands. A total of six finalists will compete in the contest and four of them will win the “Ticket to Rock”: a performance at the Gurtenfestival 2024!

When und where will the Waldbühne Contest take place?

The contest will take place on 27 April 2024 at Mühle Hunziken in Rubigen.

How can I register my band for the Waldbühne Contest?

Your band needs a profile on mx3.ch, with which you can register here on this website from 04 March 2024. After registration you will receive a confirmation email. The registration period ends on 27 March 2024 (12.00 pm).

What are the criteria for my band?
  • The majority of the band/act must be resident in Switzerland
  • You must be young, playful and courageous
  • And especially: independent and original
  • Original songs are a must
  • Your style must fit into the Gurtenfestival line-up
  • The band/act must be convincing live

Cover bands will not be considered by the jury. If covers are played, they must be new, independent and original interpretations. Bands that have already been in the final (Waldbühne Live Contest) are excluded from participation.

Which bands can take part in the Live Contest?

The two bands with the most public votes will automatically qualify for the Waldbühne Live Contest on Saturday, 27 April 2024, at Mühle Hunziken. An expert jury will also nominate four bands from all those registered for the live contest. Of the six finalists, four bands will win the coveted “Ticket to Rock”: a performance at the Gurtenfestival 2024 on the Waldbühne.

How can I vote for my favourite band?

Search for your favourite act among the registered bands and click on the “Vote” button. When you fill in the form, your vote will be credited to the chosen band. We need your mobile phone number to guarantee a fair vote. This will not be passed on to third parties. Of course you can also vote for several bands, but only one vote can be cast per band. The public voting window ends on 03 April 2024 (9.00 am).

How does the Live Contest work?

The Waldbühne Live Contest will take place on Saturday, 27 April 2024 at Mühle Hunziken. Six bands will each play a 20-minute set and have to impress both the audience and the jury with their performance. Shortly before midnight, the jury will announce the four winning acts who have earned a “Ticket to Rock” and thus a performance at the Gurtenfestival 2024 on the Waldbühne.

Who is on the jury?

Christoph «Biru» HallerBooker Gurtenfestival, DJ

Kathy Bajariamusic lab Helvetiarockt, DJ

Laetitia EdelmannMarketing Managerin main partner ewb

Laure-Anne CossuBookerin glad we met, promoter Rocking-Chair & Association du Salopard

Lena FischerBookerin & Head of Communication & Marketing Gurtenfestival

Sascha RiesenMusic editorial office media partner Radio Bern1

 

Bands 2007–2023

* winners of Waldbühne Live Contest

2023Andryy, Anouchka Gwen*, Batbait, Birdman Jäggi, Cobee, Dana, Evelinn Trouble, Fräulein Luise*, Hatepop, Juicy Lemon Club*, Klaus Egger Trio*, Müslüm, Nativ, Pilar Vega, Sensu, Soft Loft, Steiner & Madlaina, Tashan, Tommy Vercetti & Dezmond Dez, Troubas Kater, Veronica Fusaro, Zian

2020*Biandapid, Jaël, *M’Ghadi, Murphy, Pablo Nouvelle (Solo), Ta’Shan, *The Wise Fools, Tommy Vercetti, Tompaul, True, *Tshanda

2019Anna Rossinelli, Baze, Big Zis, Black Sea Dahu, *Gina Été, Klaus Johann Grobe, Ikan Hyu, JulDem, *Landro, Manillio, Marius Bear, Mnevis, Monumental Men, Nativ, *Rooftop Sailors, Steiner & Madlaina, *Thirty-Thr33, Velvet Two Stripes, Yokko

2018*Ayu, *Bell Baronets, Chaostruppe, Churchhill, Crimer, James Gruntz, KT Gorique, Pablo Nouvelle, Pat Burgener, *Pato, Saint City Orchestra, Steff La Cheffe, Stereo Luchs & The Scrucialists, The Cavers, The Gardener & The Tree, The Two, Tobias Carshey, Troubas Kater, *Wintershome

2017*All To Get Her, Al Pride, Amacher & Band, Bonaparte, Dabu Fantastic, Death By Chocolate, From Kid, *Jessiquoi, *Karavann, Len Sander, Mario Batkovic & Guests, Nemo, Panda Lux, Pedestrians, *Sophie Louise, S.O.S., Trust, Veronica Fusaro, Who’s Panda

2016Anna Känzig, Baschi, Faber, Halunke, Hecht, Klaus Johann Grobe, *Les Touristes, *Major B., Manillio, *Marius Bär, Nickless, Pablopolar, Pullup Orchestra, The Chikitas, The Tequila Boys, *The Two Romans, Troubas Kater, Yokko

2015Baba Shrimps, *Call Me Ramsey, Chlyklass, Damian Lynn, Eldorado FM, End, *Frank Powers, *Gion Stump & The Lighthouse Project, Hobbitz (Kaiser & Dimitri), James Gruntz, Kummerbuben, *Memory of an Elephant, Mimiks, Müslüm, Open Season, Pablo Nouvelle, Stefanie Heinzmann, Undiscovered Soul

2014Baum, Bubi Eifach, Büne Huber & Meccano Destructif Commando, Death by Chocolate, Ekat Bork, Hathors, Ira May & The Seasons, *Iwan Petrowitsch, Jeans for Jesus, Kadebostany, Klischée & Band, Lo & Leduc, *Make Plain, Rival Kings, Skor, Stiller Has, *The Gardener & The Tree, *Vonation

2013Alvin Zealot, *Cachét, Carrousel, *Damian Lynn, Dezmond Dez & Band, *Dirty Sound Magnet, Kyasma, Luca Little, Luk von Bergen, Lunik, Manillio & Band, Müslüm, Slag in Cullet, Steff La Cheffe, The Animen, *The Drops, We invented Paris, Zeno

2012Abu, Anna Aaron, Bastian Baker, Copy & Paste, *Death by Chocolate, James Gruntz, Knackeboul, Labrador City, Liricas Analas, Lo & Leduc feat. Pacomé, *Monophon, Pablopolar, Plüsch, *The Birthday Girls, *The Clowns, Tim & Puma Mimi, Traktorkestar, Webba

201177 Bombay Street, 7 Dollar Taxi, Baze, Bubble Beatz, Caroline Chevin, Daliah, Das Pferd, *Dead Bunny, Destilacija, *Flat Noise Bag, Halunke, *Hot Running Blood, Junes, Pamela Mendez, The Bianca Story, The Rambling Wheels, Tommy Vercetti, *Trashy Lullabies

2010Chica Torpedo, Da Sign & The Opposite, Filewile, Groombridge, Gustav, Lea Lu, Lee Everton & The Scrucialists, Les Yeux Sans Visage, My Heart Belongs To Cecilia Winter, Navel, *Red Shoes, Steff La Cheffe, Stevans, Strozzini, *Swatka City, The Tequila Boys, Tsigan, *Undiscovered Soul

2009Bonaparte, Churchhill, Da Cruz, Delilahs, Electric Blanket, Eluveitie, *Familie Gantenbein, Heidi Happy, Henrik Belden, *Loose Connection, Männer am Meer, Marius Tschirky, *New Jack, *Phanamanation, Redcharly, Solange La Frange, The Gamebois, Wurzel5

2008Adrian Solo, Adrian Stern, Aloan, Bettermondays, Choo Choo, Draven, Gianni Spano, Kummerbuben, Les Trois Suisses, Marvin, MiNa feat. Mich Gerber, Nils Burri & Band, Philipp Fankhauser, Ray Wilko, Slam & Howie, Slimboy, The Corleons, Tight Finks

20076er Gascho, Backslash, Baze unplugged feat. Secondo, Bligg & Band, Brothertunes, Fiji, Gaugehill, Gimma & Band, Hillbilly Moon Explosion, Jones, Magicrays, Maury, My Name Is George, Pegasus, The Delilahs, The Young Gods, Tomazobi, Weyermann

The history of the Waldbühne

International music greats on the Waldbühne since 1977The Gurtenfestival’s legendary and now established Waldbühne already existed in 1977, when the festival was still called the “International Folkfestival Gurten”. The Bernese concert agency “Music Service” took over the Gurten Festival in 1991 after a four-year break, as the former association had disbanded. The festival underwent a musical rejuvenation and from 1993 to 1997, true musical gems could be discovered on the Waldbühne. Ben Harper played the intimate stage in his younger years, as did Keb Mo, Taj Mahal, Marla Glen, Jeff Buckley, Americia, Dr John, Willy De Ville, Jimmy Cliff, Luka Bloom, Element Of Crime, Candy Dulfer and many more. Due to the conversion of the Gurten Hotel into the “Gurten – Park im Grünen”, the Waldbühne could no longer be operated.

Re-launch of the Waldbühne in 2007In 2007, the Waldbühne was relaunched with great success as a stage for Swiss music. The media response was huge and very positive. 18 bands played on the Waldbühne in 2007 and were broadcast directly by DRS 3 (now SRF 3). The Fondation Suisa presented the Swiss Newcomer Award worth CHF 5000 to Pegasus, the young, up-and-coming band from Biel at the time, at a press conference in the VIP tent.

Online platform waldbühne.ch in 2008The online platform waldbühne.ch went live for the 25th anniversary. The aim of this platform was to enable bands and audiences to play an active role in shaping the Waldbühne programme. Swiss bands were given the opportunity to register on the platform with a photo, description, links, songs and videos. After registration closed, the audience could rate the bands by awarding each artist between one and five stars. The four bands with the most stars received a gig on the Waldbühne at the Gurtenfestival 2008 – for a fee, of course! The response to this project was overwhelming: 507 bands registered and 68,563 ratings were submitted.

Start Contest & new location of the WaldbühneThe waldbühne.ch platform was further developed in 2009. Since then, four slots in the Waldbühne line-up have been determined by means of the Waldbühne Contest. Almost half of the visitors gather in front of this impressive stage to listen to their favourite acts, sing along and go wild.
Almost 10 years later, in 2018, the festival site was optimised and realigned. Thanks to its new location right next to the Dancetent Soundgarden, not far from the tent stage that used to be located there, the Waldbühne has gained even more attention and quality. Now more prominent and more centrally integrated into the festival site, the stage for Swiss music creation is now also where it belongs during the festival: in the centre and firmly anchored in the festival’s DNA.

Jury

Christoph «Biru» HallerBooker Gurtenfestival, DJ
Kathy Bajaria
music lab Helvetiarockt, DJ

Laetitia EdelmannMarketing Managerin main partner ewb

Laure-Anne CossuBookerin glad we met, promoter Rocking-Chair & Association du Salopard

Lena FischerBookerin & Head of Communication & Marketing Gurtenfestival

Sasha Riesen
Music editorial office media partner Radio Bern1

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