Wow, this was a weekend with so much excitement, including one of the biggest storms I’ve seen in a long time.
When Rita, Milan and myself met up on Wednesday evening, many of you have seen the photos on facebook, to sort out the last details, all the various weather forecasts read clear skies until Sunday afternoon, so we committed ourselves to all the performances to happen on the pontoon over the lake. You can’t beat having the lake, a sunset and the mountains as a backdrop.
Anyway, on Friday afternoon Rita and I opened the event, welcoming everyone in English and French. Everyone seemed in a good mood and soon entered into the spirit of our first Karaoke Contest, organized by Milan. There had been some wind which had caused some damage to the keyboard when the video screen had been blown over. Thanks to Filip Vavricka, from the Czech band The Drops, we were able to use one of his keyboards, so, soon after 9pm the Italian band, Royal Company took to the stage. They were ¾ of the way through a great set, at about 10.15pm, with the audience cheering and clapping every song, when the skies opened and the rain and wind started. While the performance had to be abandoned, everyone was safe and sound and most of the equipment survived without any damage. One of the highlights for me was their rendition of ‘Cool Cat’!
Saturday dawned bright and sunny, leaving people to wonder where the storm had gone. The morning was given to building the stage once more and finally the young bands from Rock Camp. CZ were able to sound check. They started their afternoon of live music at about 1pm to great approval from all the fans who were crowded around. There were 6 bands, Heroage, Black Wrap, Black Salat, Grinder, No Noise and the aforementioned The Drops. The youngest performer was 12 years old and the oldest had just reached 18. They played their versions of Queen music with such great enthusiasm, the whole audience loved them. Their playing didn’t end there. They also provided the un-plugged music on the boat trips, which happened for the first time in the late afternoon, evening.
Just before 9pm the Spanish band Unrisen Queen, were deciding whether to put off the start for an hour to let a few drops of rain pass, or whether to continue immediately. They started to play straight away and launched into a great set of music. Everyone was taken aback by the vocals and were fully involved with the concert when suddenly one of the harshest storms of the year struck. With literally a couple of minutes warning waves from the lake were breaking over the walk ways next to the lake, the rain was flying sideways and the wind was trying to take away anything not nailed down, including the tents covering the equipment and the bar. Again, everyone was sake, with only some damage to equipment that will be sorted out.
Sunday started cloudy, but nothing was going to stop us trying the attempt at a world record. Marijke had created the longest scarf at 67 metres, covered in over 57,000 crystals with the names of people who had donated money to the Mercury Phoenix Trust. With the help of Rinus, who measured the scarf, I was one of the official witnesses for the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s great that Montreux will be included in the record description. The last event of the weekend was the Lottery. This was created when Olesya, a Freddie fan who loves Montreux and this event and who is also a gifted artist, donated a hand made mosaic depicting Freddie standing over the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, showing Freddie joining Europe and Asia. Marijke had also donated some beautiful prints of Freddie and Brian, signed by the artist, and there was great excitement when the numbers were being drawn.
All in all it was a great weekend. Many different ‘Freddies’ were running around, raising money for the MPT under the auspices of Freddie for a Day. Great music, for which great thanks go to Royal Company, Unrisen Queen and of course all the young musicians from Rock Camp CZ.
Thanks as well to Michel and all his team for their invaluable support.