A decade ago it was in the middle of a financial crisis that would have wiped many festivals, but Open Air St. Gallen’s fortunes continued on the up as this year’s June 24-27 edition was the Swiss fest's seventh sellout in nine years.
It would likely have been five sellouts in five years but for the 2008 European Soccer championships, which were staged in Switzerland and Austria and took a lot of money out of the market.
Festival booker Christof Huber reported this year’s early sales were slow, but picked up so quickly that the weather became the only worry.
It had been gray and wet in the weeks leading up to St. Gallen but it all changed in the last two days and the crowd enjoyed one of the event’s sunnier editions. Last year’s weather left part of the site a mudbath.
It’s a also a brighter story than the ones written a little less than a decade ago as the 1999 and 2000 editions were close to being the festival’s last. It was facing bankruptcy with debts of about $1.5 million.
It was only sympathetic creditors and the financial help of the local authority that saw it past its 25th anniversary in 2001.
The acts helping it sell out this year’s 34th anniversary included The Strokes, Kasabian, White Lies, 30 Seconds To Mars and Paramore.