This was a first for the scenic backdrop to the new venue alongside the Grindelwald Terminal at the foot of the Eiger. The two-day SnowpenAir festival was similarly a new experience for some of the performing artists. It saw Helene Fischer take to the stage again after an extended break. The joy of being on stage and being able to perform again was plainly in sight for the singer and her band. For over two hours she played and sang her way through songs from her new album entitled "Rausch", but also included a selection of her past hits like "Atemlos" and "Unser Tag". The approximately 9,500 audience members were completely captivated.
Carinthian Melissa Naschenweng turned out to be a surprise act at the SnowpenAir. Luckily, she was able to step in at very short notice to cover for Francine Jordi who had fallen ill with coronavirus. The 31-year-old has already been causing a sensation for two years with "LederHosenRock". This was the title of her latest album from which she performed some classic renditions on Sunday.
Hailing from Wilderswil , the Bermudas had the honour of being the opening act on Sunday and the second day of the festival. Their covers wasted no time in getting a large part of audience up on their feet and humming along to the music.
Saturday rocks off
Saturday's opening act was similarly a local covers band, the Crazy Mofos, who all come from the Bödeli. Following them on stage was Stefanie Heinzmann from Valais who captivated the audience with her unmistakable soulful voice. Her songs gave the audience an opportunity to warm up their vocal chords before Patent Ochsner upped the energy levels: many of the Bernese band's songs have long since become popular favourites. And it showed. A large portion of the 11,000 music fans who attended the festival knew all the lyrics and were visibly thrilled to be singing along at the top of their lungs once again.
The closing act on Saturday was reserved for the headlining act, Sunrise Avenue. Unbeknown to many, the lead singer Samu and the entire band had already arrived a few days earlier to enjoy some skiing and snowboarding in the Jungfrau Ski Region. Thanks to the excellent winter sports conditions they were able to enjoy the week in full measure, which also became apparent in their eagerness to perform.
New concert venue at the Grindelwald Terminal
Offering up views of the Grindelwald Terminal and the valley station of the Eiger Express, the new venue on a gently upwards sloping site in Grindelwald Grund made various logistical aspect easier, but also brought new planning challenges with it as part of the venue’s relocation from Kleine Scheidegg down to Grindelwald. Consequently, the first day of the festival was unfortunately hampered by some bottlenecks and longer waiting times at the entrance. On Sunday however, things went more smoothly thanks to the measures that had been implemented.
"I am more than thrilled that, after a two-year break, we were able to successfully stage this two-day event for the benefit of the artists, the audience and all of our volunteers," enthuses Urs Kessler, festival founder and Director of Jungfrau Railways. Much of the planning for the new venue had started from scratch. "I'm exhausted, but elated," Kessler admits, summing up the two days.
The fact that the SnowpenAir was no longer able to be staged at its original location near Kleine Scheidegg was largely due to the V-Cableway intergenerational project. The objectors to the project, the owners of the Hotel Bellevue on the Kleine Scheidegg, were only prepared to withdraw their objection if the SnowpenAir was permanently held at a different site in future.
Around 250 tonnes of equipment were used to stage this year's SnowpenAir event. And approx. 300 volunteers worked hard to make the event a success. The concert budget was 2.3 million francs.
Video of the SnowpenAir 2022 on our Youtube channel