Montreux Jazz Festival releases historic concerts for free

US producer Quincy Jones at the 53rd Montreux Jazz Festival in 2019. (AFP pic)

MONTREUX: The announcement arrived on the same day the Montreux Jazz Festival was due to unveil the lineup for its 54th edition, which is still scheduled to take place between July 3 and 18.

Organisers of the Swiss festival added in a statement that this year’s lineup will be communicated at a yet-unknown date “given the exceptional circumstances all are currently facing.”

“Concerned by the seriousness of the situation and mindful of its evolution, the Festival management is closely assessing developments in conjunction with both the authorities and those involved in the organisation of the event.

“Our team is therefore continuing its work, in hope and humility, to enable this year’s Festival to happen under the best possible conditions,” they further explained.

While the organisation of the July festival is still uncertain, Montreux Jazz Festival announced the digital release of more than 50 performances from across its 54-year history.

The performances are available to stream in full free of charge for the first month via Stingray Qello, where fans will have the opportunity to discover legendary sets by Ray Charles, Wu-Tang Clan, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Deep Purple, Carlos Santana and more.

Montreux Jazz Festival is not the only musical institution taking the show online in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Ticketmaster Australia was holding Together Fest on its Facebook page, with more than 20 artists performing this Tuesday, March 31 until 9:00 pm (AEST).

Among them were Alice Skye, Brendan Maclean, Pinkish Blu, Sophisticated Dingo, The Hunting Birds, Will Cumming and Lupa J.

“We also know that the current social distancing and isolation can be really hard for everyone, so at Ticketmaster HQ we wanted to find a way to bring everyone together for an afternoon to share something that we love and are so grateful to have in abundance – live music,” Ticketmaster Australia said in a statement, also encouraging viewers to donate to mental health charity Support Act.

Meanwhile, Metallica have launched a new online series, “#Metallica Mondays,” during which they post videos of full concerts on their YouTube channel and Facebook page every week.

Earlier this week, the hard rock veterans notably premiered their live Paris performance from Sept 8, 2017.