Where music takes to the water

Events by the water around Interlaken

A steady stream of cultural gems has emerged close to azure lakes, cascading waterfalls and gently flowing rivers. The Holiday Region Interlaken offers a colourful programme encompassing everything from music to woodcarving. Enjoy sporting activity, or prefer to watch others perform on stage? Memorable experiences are promised on the banks of lakes and rivers in the Bernese Oberland.

  • Experience music carried on lake breezes

  • Appreciate art on the turquoise Lake Brienz

  • Sample wine on Lake Thun

  • Meet friends at events by the River Aare

Concerts, festivals and art on Swiss lakes

Love the water? Wondering about water-based experiences in the area? Events on Lakes Thun and Brienz are sure to tempt you as cultural avenues open up beside lakes and along the banks of the Aare. To one side is the sparkling lake or the burbling River Aare, while the other side is a hive of activity: hot rhythms beat out on mild nights and impressive woodcarvings are created. The summer months are packed with events by the cooling waters.

Thunerseespiele against a majestic backdrop

Verschiedene Farben lassen die Bühne auferleuchten

The Thunerseespiele promise musical experiences against an imposing backdrop. With a thrill of anticipation, you choose an aperitif, fine drink or other delicacy and take your place in the stands. From your seat you can view not just the stage, but Lake Thun beyond; with mountains all around, the evening scene is set. As the rousing chorus begins, the first dancers and actors take the stage, the musical performers giving their all. Musicals on Lake Thun invariably fly by; as the evening draws to a close, guests make their way home in high spirits. The atmospheric musical occasion will linger long in the memory.

Events by the Aare in Thun

Each July, the summer music festival "Am Schluss" – a festival for the music of dreams – is held on Mühleplatz in the centre of Thun. Over the 10 days of the event, visitors are treated to live music in all styles from around the globe. Another highlight comes to Thun in early August: the Thunfest is one of the biggest town fairs in Switzerland. Scores of musicians from around the country come together in the open air, while the bars lining the old town alleyways promise convivial evenings.

Seaside Festival in the bay of Spiez

Seaside Festival in der Spiezer Bucht mit Blick auf den Thunersee und das Niederhorn

How about a family-friendly festival in what has been called the most beautiful bay in Europe? In Spiez, international stars perform against the backdrop of mountain peaks and Lake Thun. At this festival you can savour wines from Spiez, culinary fare from local chefs and drinks from local barkeepers. The Campfire Sessions, in which up-and-coming singer-songwriters perform their tunes, are especially popular. Come rain or shine, Seaside Festival is a celebration of music in the bay of Spiez. Can't wait to listen to music or do the salsa? In summer it’s all happening at the Blue Turtle, on the banks of the lake in Faulensee, not far from Spiez. The small stage is right on Lake Thun, so guests can enjoy atmospheric music with the sun setting over the water and the mountains beyond.

Brienz International Woodcarving Symposium

Want to see how woodcarvers from around the world create masterpieces in wood that are perfectly framed against the azure Lake Brienz? Superb wooden sculptures are produced on the Brienz quayside in less than a week. Every artist has their own technique and approach; some draw two sketches in advance and decide which design is best suited to the wood available. While the wood chips fly, bands play in the evenings. With all this plus good food lovingly prepared by local chefs, a unique atmosphere is guaranteed.

Lake Brienz Rock Festival

Band auf der beleuchteten Bühne vor Fans am Brienzersee Rockfestival

Early in August, a tented village emerges by Lake Brienz between the Aare and the main road. Fans of rock music definitely do not want to miss the Lake Brienz Rock Festival. In fact, rockers from all over Switzerland make the pilgrimage to beautiful Lake Brienz for the three-day event. The music plays in a large marquee right by the turquoise waters, where guests can take a dip straight after the show. Bathing after a rock concert is surely an experience for the true rock fan.

Sporting events on Lake Brienz

See how axes are sharpened and chainsaws are oiled at the Brienz Lumberjack Festival, held by glistening Lake Brienz. Every September, amateurs and professionals come together to take part in competitions that are all about wood. The sporting activity continues at Lake Brienz in October, when motivated runners embark on the popular Brienzerseelauf down by the lake in Bönigen – as they have since the autumn of 1957. The race around Lake Brienz is one of Switzerland’s oldest long-distance running events. Runners test themselves over the legendary 35 km course around the lake, but there is also a relay, half marathon and a 10 km course as well as popular youth events and the "Pfüderi Race" for children. The main run starts at Bönigen and passes through Iseltwald to Brienz, Oberried, Niederried, Ringgenberg, Goldswil and Interlaken before heading back to Bönigen. The half marathon event starts in Brienzwiler.

"Läset-Sunntig" in Spiez

Spiezer Läset-Sunntig mit Umzug durch Spiez und Zuschauern am Wegrand

Every autumn, wine comes to the fore in the Lake Thun region. The "Läset-Sunntig" event is held every September in Spiez, followed by the "Spiez Märit" (market of Spiez) the next day. Admire the decorated floats of wine casks and listen to the "Trychler" bell ringers and performances by local musical societies at "Läset-Sunntig". After the procession, head for the wine cellar of the Spiez vineyard to sample a fine local wine and enjoy the views of Lake Thun and the mountains.

Giessbach Sessions

The Giessbach Falls tumble down outside while inside the Grandhotel Giessbach, the sounds of saxophone, piano and guitar ring out – a truly magical combination. To complete the experience, the entry price includes aperitifs and evenings meals (with drinks); you can also stay over at the historic hotel. The sessions, which start at 18.00h, make a wonderful surprise for your nearest and dearest.

Burgseeli illuminations near Ringgenberg

Steg mit Kerze während dem Burgseeli Leuchten in der Nacht

On 24th December, Lake Burgseeli is bathed in candlelight. Visitors delight in the evening ambience created by candles adorning the banks of the lake. From 18.00h onwards, local residents start lighting 150 or more candles on the banks of Lake Burgseeli. This beautiful tradition is also a beacon of light in the cold, dark winter. The Burgseeli illuminations is a well-kept secret.