“Gstaad is like a first date!”

Thu, 26. Sep. 2019
Like a first date: Ashley McBryde on stage in Gstaad (KSM-Fotografie)

The event Country Night Gstaad has signed and sealed its reputation as Europe's leading country event, thanks to an above-average attendance. Taking a look behind the scenes reveals why artists love to come to Gstaad.

Many would love to stay here
In the early days of Country Night, it was very hectic backstage and everyone was excited, remembers Elsi Frautschi. Since then, things have become very organised with very competent teams working backstage and throughout the festival. Everyone knows their role and what they have to do. This creates a relaxed atmosphere. She’s convinced that if it’s calm backstage, this will rub off on the whole festival.

It’s obvious that the bands are taken good care of at the Country Night by the fact that most of them would love to stay here, laughs Frautschi and adds that the artists are really pleased with what they see: they were staying in a good hotel and also the food was very good. So, it’s hardly surprising that many of these bands perform in Gstaad several times during their careers. For example, Joe Nichols was here in 2005 and "Asleep at the Wheel" in 2000. She was sure that Gstaad had made a name for itself in Nashville. Rumor had it that the artists would be very well looked after here, Frautschi added. It goes without saying that Ashley McBryde, country newcomer of the year, already knew Gstaad before she came here for the first time.

The line-up shows a love for country music
While Rosanne Cash, the grande dame of country music with the famous name and wonderful voice, preferred the quieter sounds at the 31st Country Night, Ashley McBryde was in favour of more rocky sounds. It was the first time ever that she’d been to Switzerland, reveals Ashley McBryde and tells how they’d flown to Geneva and from there to Gstaad. Everybody on the bus found the beautiful landscape awe inspiring, raved the talented young star, who’s just 33.

McBryde enchanted her audience by performing solo guitar songs, giving everyone goose bumps. Playing here in Gstaad is an incredible thing for her, especially with this line-up. The tattooed country lady admitted she was a big fan of Asleep at the Wheel. "I cannot even say hello to them because I'm such a big fan," she laughs. Of course, she also knows Joe Nichols and has already performed with him. She also mentioned Rosanne Cash with great admiration in her voice. As for the line-up, she said, "If you listen to all the bands, you'll discover that the common thread is a great love of country music!"

Above-average attendance
The line-up itself was quite something and organising committee president Marcel Bach was not exaggerating when he said upfront that any of the stars could be the headline act. The high-caliber performers attracted an above-average number of spectators to the concert tent on Friday evening and on Saturday. "We were almost sold out", said Bach, clearly very pleased.

This year's Country Night Gstaad was a big country showcase event. The visitors were thrilled and hardly anyone had a bad word to say. So, the organising committee has impressively shown that the Country Night Gstaad deserves its title as "Europe's leading country event", as it is featured on Gstaad Saanenland Tourism’s website. Around 5000 visitors were in the tent and almost as many enjoyed all the trimmings like the funfair, the concerts, the bars and the good vibes of the crowds. Bach was very satisfied at the end of the event and the 32nd Country Night Gstaad is sure to be a great success when it takes place on 11 and 12 September 2020.

Based on AvS/Kerem S. Maurer
Translated by Justine Hewson

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