Mar 6, 2023
4 min read
Ravers go harder at 2,200 meters. Whether it’s the impeccable air quality, the invigorating mountain vistas, or the altered speed of sound that causes this reaction is up for debate. One thing’s for certain, though: Switzerland’s annual Caprices Festival is the wildest party to pop off in the clouds.
The international gathering celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, culminating in a transformation that’s seen the boutique rock and snowsports event emerge decades later as the region’s destination for popular and left-of-center house and techno. Across two weekends in April (4/7-4/9 and 4/14-4/16), a mix of the genres’ chillest stars will grace the Swiss Alps with a variety of day and night sets, leaving attendees plenty of options for building a weekend schedule that affords time for a visit to a world-class spa, a day of dog-sledding or an informative jaunt through the renowned Eco-Museum.
If industry titans and cultural stop-offs aren’t enough to compel an excursion to the bucolic resort town of Crans-Montana, then Caprices’ crown jewel should seal the deal. We’re referring, of course, to the Modernity Stage — a sprawling, sky–high greenhouse offering panoramic views of Valais and enough ‘Gram-worthy energy to crash the app. While the flurries dance outside, fashionable revelers heat up the glass-enclosed walls within, taking breaks only to grab a locally-sourced bite, catch underground vibes at the intimate Club Stage, or ski the surrounding slopes — yes, this is real life.
Caprices Festival Weekend 1 2022
Two of South Africa’s finest — Black Coffee and Themba — will kick off the first weekend at this one-of-a-kind venue. Joining them are rising French Afrobeats producer, Fiona Kraft and world house whiz, Megablast, who together demonstrate just how rapidly such global sounds have exploded to the forefront of electronic music today.
Those who prefer the playa tech drip should catch German crossover sensation Monolink, who’ll bring a vocal-forward live set to the summit on Saturday alongside All I Day Dream regular, YOkoo, and names like Amine K and Aracil. Satori is another progressive stunner who’s on board to close out the Modernity stage on weekend one with his ethereal and expansive live stylings.
Weekend two’s daytime offerings boast some monster team-ups with the return of Luciano b2b Ricardo Villalobos, which has become an annual tradition, as well as longtime pals Loco Dice b2b Seth Troxler who will hit the decks together on day two. Manda Moor, a Paris-based act that takes her notes from early-era Chicago house, is a cool one to catch on her come-up, while masters like Sven Väth will be in tow to close the day parties down on the ultimate weekend.
If you’re a night owl, however, there’s no shortage of heavy hitters to catch after dark during both installments. That’s when the bash slides downhill to three additional venues — the Moon Stage, Forest Stage, and Dome Stage — each boasting high-tech audio-visual components that aim to honor the unique aesthetic of the rich Alpine landscapes around them. Here some of the industry’s leading acts will appear — names like UK powerhouse, Fatboy Slim who’s been on an acid techno tear as of late, Jamie xx who’s likely to showcase some grooves from his forthcoming LP, and the always-inspired Dubfire, who will bring his EVOLV setup to the Moon Stage for a rare unveiling. But that’s just one line item on a nighttime schedule that spotlights sounds veering between legendary Detroit techno a la Jeff Mills, groovy tech-house compliments of the masked master, Claptone, and imaginative analog music compliments of Giorgia Angiuli who’s become a standout in the live manipulation space. Add names like TSHA, Eats Everything, DJ Tennis, Richie Hawtin, and Romanian favorites Raresh, and there’s little this year’s vast lineup leaves unturned.
For those who prefer their fast-moving BPMs with unmatched beauty, Caprices is in a snow-dusted league all its own, so grab a ticket and choose your own adventure. There’s no wrong way to tackle these thrills.