History

Under the leadership of a few friends who love Sierre, their hometown, a group met to discuss creating new events in the tradition of the Fêtes du Rhône, Festival du Petit-Bois, Sympaboum, Festival international de la BD, and Vinéa.

These Blues lovers formed an initial committee made up of Jacques Melly, Patrick Bérod, Gérard Sermier, Jean-Marie Grand, Bernard Moix, Paul-Mac Bonvin, Daniel Dekumbis, Fabrice Caldelari and Silvio Caldelari, and they decided to present a project to create an international festival dedicated to Blues to the town council.They named it  SIERRE BLUES FESTIVAL

The idea was to link the name of the town to the Festival, thus promoting the place where the event takes place. Examples of this are widespread, here and elsewhere: Montreux Jazz Festival – Lucerne Blues Festival – Basel Blues Festival– Baden Blues Festival – Bellinzona Blues Festival – Verbier Festival – Cully Jazz Festival – Verco Jazz – Montréal Jazz Festival – Chicago Blues Festival, etc…

The idea was also to endow the town of Sierre with a type of festival which is as yet unexplored in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Basel (early April), Baden (May), Rapperswil (June – Blues’n’Jazz) Bellinzona (end July) and Lucerne (early November) are the only towns to offer Blues Festivals.

A date was put forward. The Sierre Blues Festival took place for the first time from the 18th to the 21st of June 2009 and saw some thirty national and international groups playing on the Plaine Bellevue, where the Festival « in » takes place, and the « off » stages in public establishments around Sierre which are Festival partners. The Festival was also included in the worldwide programme of the Blues Foundation based in Memphis/USA, of which it is a member.

In this first edition, the organisers learned a few lessons. In particular, they decided to postpone the date of the festival to the end of August, a more favourable period, particularly as far as climate is concerned. The factor of numerous events already taking place in May –June and also the stress of school exams during this period reinforced the committee in their decision to change. The second edition was therefore programmed for the 26th to the 29th of August 2010.

At the same time, the Sierre Blues Association took part in the 3rd European Blues conference, which united professionals from all over Europe. After Parma (Italy), Notodden (Norway), it was the turn of Hondarribia (Spanish Basque country) to welcome over a hundred participants. Sierre became a full member of the newly created European Blues Union…