Zermatt Unplugged receives Valais prize for culture and business


The Valais prize for culture and business honours an event that makes an equal contribution to the region's culture and the economy. This year’s prize – awarded by the Cantonal Government for the fourth time – goes to the Zermatt Unplugged music festival. Since it was founded in 2007 the festival at the foot of the Matterhorn has developed into a must-see music event in Europe. The winner of the culture and business prize is awarded CHF 20,000. 


Zermatt Unplugged has been awarded the Valais prize for culture and business for 2023. The Cantonal Government has based its decision on the following four criteria: 

  • the originality, quality and exemplary character of the productions and events recognised in cultural and business circles;  
  • reach and sustained national and international exposure; 
  • the cultural and economic effects and subsequent impact in Valais; 
  • a proven sustainable finance model. 

CHF 20,000 is awarded for the prize. 

Acoustic music, electric atmosphere, iconic panorama 

An intimate concert space, respected musicians, exciting new talent and established DJs – and all this in an incomparable setting. These elements have made the Zermatt Unplugged music festival into a must-see event on the European music scene. Internationally renowned artists are appearing at the festival, but up and coming bands are also getting the chance to gain valuable experience on stage. The Department of Culture finances the participation of two to three bands, who can build their reputation at the festival and meet other event organisers. This is an opportunity to recognise local musical talent at an international festival. 

Thomas Sterchi and Marco Godat founded the Zermatt Unplugged festival for singer-songwriters in 2007 and it has developed into an extremely popular event for both artists and music lovers. Each year the five festival days feature over a hundred concerts on around a dozen stages in the village and surrounding mountains. 

Since the festival was founded, a host of internationally renowned musicians and bands have enjoyed the idea of performing in an intimate setting, in a tent, outside or in the festival's clubs. The Zermatt Unplugged programme is recognised for its diversity, quality and international flavour. The combination of acoustic music, iconic landscapes and incomparable atmosphere at the foot of the Matterhorn makes for a unique musical event in Europe. Last year the festival attracted over 25,000 people to the Upper Valais holiday resort.