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CULTURE

IN PICTURES: Swiss techno Street Parade returns after two-year absence

Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of a sun-baked Zurich on Saturday for the Swiss city's annual techno Street Parade, following a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

revellers at street parade zurich
Participants celebrate the 29th edition of Street Parade, a techno music celebration, in Zurich on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

But celebrations were marred by the death of a young man who drowned after jumping into the city’s river near the parade. Zurich police said rescuers tried to save the man but it was too late.

Around 850,000 people attended the last event in 2019, and this year, organisers expected between 750,000 and one million.

street parade zurich

Participants celebrate the 29th edition of Street Parade with one reveller holding a sign reading ‘finally, normal people’. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Under a clear blue sky, fans gathered for the start of the free parade for around two kilometres (1.4 miles) along the river in the heart of Switzerland’s financial capital.

revellers at street parade in zurich

This year’s Street Parade gathered several hundred thousands of ravers and electronic music fans. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

As the temperature reached 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), the river’s banks were full of revellers, many taking the plunge into the water to keep cool.

“I don’t have the right words to describe the atmosphere here, it is fantastic, all the people you know they are so eager to party,” said Patrick, a 26-year-old Master’s student in Zurich, with multi-coloured flowers and glasses on his head.

“You can feel that, you can feel the vibration in the air,” he added.

The highlight of the event is 30 floats known as “lovemobiles”, which are usually brightly decorated trucks with music, DJs and party-goers.

street parade zurich

Revellers jump into Lake Zurich to cool off during the 29th edition of the Street Parade in Zurich. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

More than 200 DJs will play at this year’s event, including international stars Adriatique, Anna Tur, Ida Engberg, Reinier Zonneveld and Syreeta.

After two years marked by the pandemic, the organisers said the parade’s motto was “THINK”.

street parade zurich

Revellers surround one of the 30 ‘lovemobile’ floats at the event. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

“Thoughts are the key to a peaceful coexistence of our cultures, no matter what religion, skin colour, origin or sexual orientation people belong to,” organisers said.

The first edition of Street Parade took place in 1992, drawing a mere 1,000 revellers and only two lovemobiles.

It is now the biggest techno party in Europe.

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ZURICH

‘3,000 francs a month?’: Zurich to vote on trying universal basic income

On Sunday September 25th, while the Swiss will decide on three national issues in a national referendum, Zurich voters will weigh in on a pilot project involving the recurring issue of universal basic income.

'3,000 francs a month?': Zurich to vote on trying universal basic income

The idea of the government handing out a set amount of money to its citizens is not a novel concept in Switzerland: in 2016, a referendum made Switzerland the first country in the world to vote at national level on this issue.

But 76.9 percent of voters rejected this initiative because they could not see how it could be funded without increasing taxes.

Some left-leaning districts in Zurich, however, voted in favour of the universal basic income (UBI), and while nothing came of it on the national level at the time, the city will re-vote on this issue on Sunday.

READ MORE: Zurich to roll out universal basic income pilot project

While the exact details are still muddy, voters will decide whether to offer “free” money on monthly basis to 500 residents chosen for the pilot project.

Though the amount is not yet determined, it could likely be between 2,500 and 3,000 francs a month.

Contrary to what had been proposed at the federal level in 2016, the part paid by the city government will vary according to income from work.

For the political left, which launched the proposal, UBI “represents a possible answer to current challenges such as automation, poverty and the climate crisis”, the group says on its website.

Among the opponents, the municipal council “believes that paid work is the most important element to ensure the livelihood of individuals and at the same time create social prosperity”.

Does this proposal have a chance of success?

Based on the outcome of the national vote, probably not.

On a municipal level too, such initiatives have already failed in Bern and Lucerne.

However, as Swiss media points out, “Zurich is very left”, so perhaps UBI can get more of a boost there.

As far as the national referendum on September 25th is concerned, this article explains what issues will be voted on:

Pensions, farming and tax: What issues will the Swiss vote on this month?
 

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