10 Best Festivals In Lucerne 

best festivals in Lucerne

Lucerne boasts a busy festival calendar with events in every season. From picturesque light festivals in the winter to music festivals in the summer, there’s no shortage of events that promote and celebrate the region’s culture. 

The city is particularly known for festivals that celebrate classical music, which are held very often. I’ve covered the best and most popular Lucerne festivals below – but not all the events – so join me as we look into all the different celebrations of music, culture, and sports in this wonderful Swiss city! 

Lucerne Blues Festival

Every November, the world’s best and most famous Blues musicians flock to Lucerne. The annual Lucerne Blues Festival is one of the best for the promotion and celebration of Blues music, and the event has managed to establish itself as one of the best in Europe. 

The festival was initially founded in 1995 by a group of enthusiasts who were not happy with Switzerland’s existing opportunities for attending live Blue music events. The first event took place in a small club, but it was such a success that it immediately became an annual thing. The festival has only expanded since then, and nowadays it’s one of the city’s most popular. 

Over the years, the festival has been organized in various venues in the city. In the last few years, Konzerthaus Luzern, Theater Casino, and Kulturzentrum Schüür all served as the setting for Blues music concerts. Visitors can attend performances of established musicians, as well as up-and-coming artists. Workshops and lectures are also an integral part of the event, and most musicians will attend the concerts of their colleagues and mingle with the crowd.  

World Band Festival

Brass Band Lucerne Festival
Brass band performing in Lucerne

The World Band Festival is the largest wind music festival in Europe, with more than 22,000 visitors annually. It’s getting bigger every year, as it attracts more than 1,000 musicians to Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre for performances and competitions. 

You might be wondering what exactly is wind music – it’s the same question I had when I first heard about this festival ages ago. There are a few different interpretations of the term, but in this case, it refers to music that is composed specifically for instruments that use vibrating air to produce sounds. Those are usually woodwinds and brass instruments, so flutes, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, etc. 

Because the festival celebrates a specific type of music creation, it encompasses multiple genres and styles. During the World Band Festivals, Lucerne KKL is filled with the sounds of Jazz, Swing, and Folk music, among others. This festival traditionally takes place in late September and lasts for nine days. Tickets go on sale in the spring. 

Lilu Light Festival Lucerne

Lilu Light Festival in Luzern

I have a soft spot for light festivals, and the Lilu Light Festival Lucerne is one of my top three in the city. It usually takes place in the first half of January, infusing a bit of magic into the cold and dreary winter days. 

The festival is a true celebration of light. Artists from all over the world create captivating installations that are projected onto the landmarks, alleyways, and squares of Lucerne. Walking around the city during the Lilu Light Festival is a wonderful experience, one which allows you to experience Lucerne in an entirely new way. 

One of the best things about this festival is that most attractions are entirely free of charge. All the art installations that are projected onto the exterior of buildings can be viewed for free, but some select events are ticketed. The light show that takes place in the church and is accompanied by music is one of the few charged events, and it’s absolutely worth the money. 

Lucerne Live

Lucerne Live is a summer music festival that takes place in late July. More than 60 acts from of all over the world entertain the locals and tourists in Lucerne with live performances. The festival takes place in the Lake Lucerne basin and traditionally lasts for 10 days. 

Five stages are set up around Lake Lucerne, and music can be heard from various different parts of the town. The city is vibrant and buzzing during these 10 days, and Lucerne’s streets are just as crowded at night as they are during the day. 

The thing I love about this festival is that the lineup is diverse. Whether you like techno, pop, rock, electronic music, or even a different genre, you won’t be let down by the Lucerne Live performances. Food stalls are set up at all the main festival areas, so concert-goers don’t have to worry about food or drink and can focus on enjoying the moment. 

Lucerne City Festival

Lucerne City Festival is a two-day event that usually takes place at the end of June. It boasts a diverse program that includes live music performances, dances, theater shows, and special events for children. 

For the two days of the festival, the city is absolutely alive and vibrant. The streets of Lucerne are filled with people, and music can be heard virtually everywhere in the city. I love Lucerne just the way it is, but being in the city during this festival is an experience unlike any other. 

Mühleplatz is one of the hotspots of the Lucerne City Festival in the old town. The picturesque city square features bars, food stalls, and a live music stage, which keeps the festival-goers entertained for hours. Kapellplatz, Löwengraben stage, and Lucerne Theater are also lively entertainment hubs during the festival. 

Lucerne Festival in Summer

Lucerne Summer Festival is the largest festival in the city, with more than 100,000 visitors. It’s a celebration of classical music with a tradition of more than 75 years.  Every year there’s a new theme to inspire the festival performances. 

Several stages are set up throughout the city but the main events take place at KKL Lucerne. Highlights of the festival include performances by renowned orchestras, including the Wiener Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from the Netherlands. 

In addition to all the spectacular concerts, the festival also features workshops, lectures, masterclasses, film screenings, and various other cultural events. This festival lasts for roughly a month, usually beginning in the middle of August. 

Lucerne Spring Festival

Lucerne Spring Festival is another lovely classical music festival held in this city. It was initially known as the Easter Festival and focused mostly on religious music, but it evolved over the years. Nowadays the focus is less on religious and more on traditional classical music. 

The Lucerne Spring Festival is also shorter than the Easter Festival. While the latter would last for up to nine days, the newer iteration of the festivities lasts for just three days. One thing that remained the same is that the festival begins on the Friday before Palm Sunday. 

Some of the world’s best conductors, soloists, and orchestras perform at the Lucerne Spring Festival, ensuring that the spectators are treated to world-class acts. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra performs both religious and secular works, playing a central role in the event festivities. 

Lucerne Regatta

The Lucerne Regatta is an annual rowing competition that takes place on Rotsee Lake. The event is part of the Rowing World Cup and takes place at a different time each year. If you want to attend the Lucerne Regatta, you have to look up the dates for the upcoming event because it can be anytime between May and October. 

The regatta is an opportunity to witness world-class rowers in action, as they compete for the title of the best in the world. This Lucerne festival has a tradition of more than 100 years, and the first event took place way back in 1903. It was held at Lake Lucerne, but it was eventually moved to Lake Rotsee because the conditions are much more suitable for rowing. 

The smaller lake is also better for the spectators because there are plenty of vantage points that allow visitors to see everything. 

Fumetto – Internationales Comic-Festival Luzern

Fumetto is one of the best Comic Book festivals in Europe

Fumetto is an annual Comic Book festival held in Lucerne. It’s considered one of the leading comic book festivals in Europe and it attracts thousands of enthusiasts from all corners of the planet. 

It was initially founded in 1992 as the Luzern Comix Festival, but as the event grew, it eventually rebranded to Fumetto in 2003. It traditionally takes place in spring, either in March or April. The festival brings renowned comic-book artists to Lucern but also gives attendees the opportunity to discover emerging artists. 

A market is a part of the festival, of course, as well as interactive workshops, panels, and courses. There’s even an entire program just for children, and it’s aptly named Fumettino. 

Lucerne Cheese Festival

Lucerne Cheese Festival is the biggest cheese market in Central Switzerland and the best festival for foodies in the city. Some 20 cheese makers from the region set up stalls in the heart of Lucerne, offering more than 250 varieties of cheese. This festival usually takes place during a weekend in October. 

You can sample any cheeses before making a purchase, so you’ll know exactly which ones to buy. In addition to the stalls stacked with cheese, the festival includes entertainment for visitors of all ages. Partake in a cow milking contest or try your hand at cheese making – it’s heaps of fun, and the rewards are delicious, and Alphorn players are responsible for live music. 

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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