About Paléo

Paléo, what is it?

It is first and foremost a major musical event in Europe with six days and six nights of music and shows, spread over seven stages with various profiles. Both a springboard for young talents and a platform for headliners, Paléo has gradually opened up to all musical styles, as well as to circus and street arts.

But, between us... Paleo, it's much more than that!

It is also an extraordinary city for the public who visit it. Particular care is therefore taken in welcoming, decorating and choosing food and craft stands. We come here for the music of course, but also to immerse ourselves in unusual settings and atmospheres, to delight our taste buds with cuisines from all over the world, to meet up with friends and share a drink - in short, to experience the great collective thrill as well as the little pleasures of life! Festive and friendly, Paléo is an extraordinary place to live, where time goes by like nowhere else.

In a few figures...

Since 1976

-    45 festivals
-    3'917 singers, bands ou companies
-    5'788 concerts and shows on stage
-    7'096'154 spectators

In 2022

-    250'000 spectators over 6 days of festival
-    1'889 musicians and technicians
-    306 shows on 6 stages including dozens of animations
-    5'201 volunteers
-    8'500 campers
-    A ground of 80 hectares (including camping and parking spaces)
-    222 food stalls and 57 bars

What makes our DNA

Paléo Arts & Spectacles is a non-profit cultural association founded in 1974. Paléo does not receive any subsidies and aims to remain financially independent while being accessible to as many people as possible. The organisation of the Festival is delegated to an Organising Committee, which is responsible for managing all financial, technical, administrative and promotional aspects. Composed of about 110 people - all responsible for a sector -, the Committee prepares and coordinates the work of the approximately 5,000 volunteers.

The Paléo family

From the very first editions, volunteering has been at the heart of the Paléo philosophy. Created by a team of friends, the Festival has always been able to count on the support of volunteers who are as motivated as they are passionate. The circle of friends has since expanded, but the principle has remained the same. Today, Paléo collaborates with respect and trust with nearly 5,000 volunteers, who contribute greatly each year to the success and spirit of the Festival.

You want to join our volunteer team?

Becoming a volunteer is a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes and take part in an enriching human adventure! In return, Paléo provides for expenses and offers certain benefits (drinks voucher, invitations, meals, etc.). 

For volunteers from previous year, the form is sent between March and April by the sector manager. For any other interested person, registrations open online at the end of April. Be careful, it is common knowledge that volunteering at Paleo is highly addictive!

Our environmental policy

The Festival is an ephemeral city built in the middle of the fields, in a magnificent natural setting. Preserving this environment and committing to the planet are therefore part of the organization's core values. Each year, Paléo sets new objectives, convinced that the greenest possible event should be a priority. An Environment Commission thus reflects throughout the year on the new measures to be undertaken, as well as on the means of achieving these goals.

A new impulse in 2022

In 2022, the major ground changes caused by the new "petit train rouge" warehouse mark a major turning point in the Festival's urban design history. Paléo presents a new face, reinvents itself, and this dynamic offers a magnificent opportunity to strengthen its ambitions in the field of ecology. New measures are being taken, including:

  • The implementation in 2022 of a returnable tableware system to reduce single use
  • Updating the festival's carbon footprint assessment and creating an environmental roadmap. Objective: to reduce our emissions by 25% by the 50th festival.
  • In the short term, the consolidation of existing measures on transport, food, consumption and soil and biodiversity protection.

Paléo has been sensitive to the challenges of sustainable development for many years and is developing an active environmental policy in many areas. This includes the following measures:

  • Encourage soft mobility (pedestrian and bicycle access) as well as public transport via an extended offer of special trains and buses. 
  • Sorting waste and limiting food waste
  • Consuming locally
  • Consuming green energy
  • Saving energy and water
  • Produce ethical and eco-responsible merchandising

More information

Our social policy

As the country's largest open-air festival, Paléo is aware of its social responsibility and is committed to its region by supporting various associative or socio-cultural actions. During the Festival, bars are run by regional associations and each edition highlights the specific work of a charity association.

Paléo is also committed to sharing its know-how, networks and knowledge with its professional community. Since 2005, the Festival has also adopted a charter containing all the values to which it is formally committed (respect for the spectator, the volunteer collaborator, the artists, environmental commitment, prevention and social responsibility). As a non-profit association, Paléo gives equal weight to economic, ecological and social factors. 

To promote training, Paléo also hires trainees and trains apprentices every year. The association also collaborates regularly with social organizations in the region as part of integration programs.

Our sense of hospitality

The respect and comfort of the public, artists and collaborators are at the heart of the Festival's philosophy. For this reason, Paléo undertakes all necessary measures to welcome its spectators in a spirit of encounter, respect for others and conviviality, in particular by guaranteeing sufficient space for everyone's comfort. The latter also depends on the sound quality of the site. The Festival is designed to ensure good listening and viewing conditions for anyone wishing to attend a concert. In addition to complying with Swiss legislation (sound and laser prescription), ear plugs are distributed free of charge on the field and quiet areas and relaxation areas are also guaranteed. Similarly, the development takes into account the specific needs of people with disabilities, the elderly and families. In addition, more than a hundred food stalls, restaurants, a daycare centre, a children's area and a free camping site are available to visitors.

The organisation defends a policy of awareness and prevention of risks related to alcohol consumption and proposes support and care measures. The objective of the volunteers of the Festival's reception and security team is to enable the public to spend an evening in the best conditions and in complete safety, without threatening the spirit of celebration.

In a few figures (2019)

  • 1061 volunteers work in the Security sector and have 48,000 hours of service.
  • The medical and health system includes 105 people, including 16 doctors, 37 nurses, 19 ambulance attendants, 26 stretcher bearers/drivers/employees and 7 controllers.

Our programming policy

The Paléo programming team travels to many festivals in Switzerland and abroad to discover new talent on stage, an essential step before hiring a group. Artists are never invited just by listening. The programming budget and the technical constraints related to the particular conditions of a festival make it not always possible for Paléo to host certain headliners usually playing in stadiums or very large venues. Particular emphasis is placed on mixing styles and formats, between concerts-events and discoveries, to arouse the curiosity of an intergenerational and multi-tasteful audience.

Confirmed stars or newcomers to the stage, all programmed artists receive a fee. While these can sometimes represent large sums of money, it should not be forgotten that they do not only represent what the artist earns, but also what it costs to come, with musicians, technicians and the often complex and expensive equipment that must be transported from one country to another to ensure the show.

Awards and certifications

Every year, the collaborators and volunteers join forces to make the Paléo Festival as unforgettable as it is enjoyable. Edition after edition, Paléo strives to improve its services in terms of hospitality, comfort and organization, efforts that have been praised by various professional circles, as attested by the awards and certifications received. Among these, Paléo was awarded two major prizes at the European Festival Awards. The Best Medium-Sized Festival Awards (2017) for the overall quality of the event, and twice the Health and Safety Innovation Award (2014, 2018), to recognize innovative measures in the field of hospitality and safety management.

More information