A little bit of a history … (the ultimate Swizzeridoo review)

The first two didgeridoo gatherings of Switzerland, in 1996 and the millennium-year 2000, took place on the Schweibenalp, a wonderful place sitting above the town of Brienz in the Bernese Oberland. The one in 2000 already ran by the then unknown name of “swizzeridoo”, although not as a festival, but as a gathering. It was organized by didgeridoo-player Olivier Balmer of Bern, who later was to become the president of the association.

At that time, large number of enthusiastic didgeridoo players wandered to the Schweibenalp – and, to the great surprise of the organizers, over 200 more guests with a general interest in sound and didgeridoo related matters. On sunday evening of the 23 july 2000, many active players came to the decision to pursue the gatherings in the form of a professionally conducted festival. The first meeting of the organizing committee of the newly founded festival Swizzeridoo was held on 30 september 2000 in Malters/Lucerne at the former home of Roman Buss. More meetings followed, in different places, with different outcomes.

The association Swizzeridoo with Olivier Balmer as a president was founded at 19 january 2001 and became the foundation of the swizz didgeridoo festival equally named Swizzeridoo.  The homepage went online at the same time and remained its design until spring 2007.

Chairmanship and managing board as well as the organizing committee had to undergo many changes in the following years to the present.
Though enthusiastic at first, many members soon had to learn that the effort of organizing a festival exceeded their time resources. Therefore, after initially 14  members attending the first meeting, at the second meeting only 11 members showed up, at the third only nine. In addition, it required team spirit and a positive approach to resolving conflicts, so team-players were badly needed.

But the idea of the Swizzeridoo gained increasing support, even from celebrities: None other than David Hudson, one of the world’s most known Aboriginal didgeridoo-players, created the Didge-Man exclusively for the logo of the Swizzeridoo.

Sadly, the festival of 2001 in the Gaskessel in Bern ended with a loss. So Denra Dürr and Roman Buss&Friends (later running under the name of Swiss inDIDGEnous) gave a “deficit-concert” for free in a sold out Kulturmühle Mühletal. Now the deficit was covered.

For the festival of 2002 a new location was needed. The multi-purpose hall Froburg in Wiedlisbach proved to be perfect. In the meantime, the organization began to operate more professionally and smoothly, as another loss would have meant the death for festival and association likewise.

But the Swizzeridoo 2002 was successful, as were the following years.

The growing popularity attracted more visitors, and so the festival became increasingly relevant for sponsors. The resulting revenues were used over the years to invest in infrastructure and equipment.

In 2007, the township of Wiedlisbach even assumed official patronage of the Swizzeridoo.

(See excerpts from newspapers here [26 KB])

But then, after unsurmountable organizational and personal problems, the entire organization committee left the association in 2008. There was no more Swizzeridoo in 2008, and it meant a temporary halt for the festival in general.

However, the multitude of positive feedback, from politics as well as from economy, encouraged some members of the former team plus a few more enthusiasts to give it another try. They organized another Swiss didgeridoo festival under a new name, but with the former power.

Thus, the Swiss Didge Weekend was founded and was run under an association, keeping the location and the concept with just one day less.

The organization of the Swizz Didge Weekend went highly successful and it concluded with satisfied visitors, artists, and organizers alike.

But once more, unfortunately, financial and personal discrepancies led to an end, and this time it was supposed to be the last event of its kind.

Finally, on 20 february 2014, Willi Grimm and Roman Buss decided to make another attempt at a revival of a 2-days-festival. Soon it became obvious that the name Swizzeridoo should again play an important role in it. The event was now operated by private initiative, at least for the time being.

It was obvious that the Wörkshophus in Bern would serve as a location, for there had been carried out a diversity of didgeridoo related events already, featuring names like Tom Fronza, Ondrej Smeykal, Dubravko Lapaine, The BaR-Mates and Mark Atkins.

The newly established festival was very well received and was considered to be successful.

The success went on when in 2015 the decision was made to have another go with a three days edition.

And now, in 2016, Willi Grimm and Roman Buss will again welcome visitors, artists, stall holders and sponsors in the Wörkshophus in Bern for another edition of Swizzeridoo.

Organization is running in high gear, and we are looking forward to an exiting Festival!


In the past, the Swizzeridoo featured the following artists:

Denra Dürr (CH), Willi Grimm (CH), Matthias Müller (CH), Scott Siegrist (CH), Roman Buss (CH), Human Pressure (CH), Fabien Queloz (CH), Ganga Giri (AU), Bruce Rogers (AU), Mark Atkins (AU), Guido Huwiler (CH), Ilya Sibbor (DE), Swiss inDIDGEnous (CH), Stephen Kent (GB), Vision Networking (CH), Commin’ and Goin’ (AT), Naturton (CH), Alex Mayer (AT), Richard Bridge (GB), GöG (DE), Ansgar Stein (DE), Shozo (JP), Didge Groove Company (AT), Wild Marmalade (AU), N’bolo (CH), Adidgio (FR), Bernd Lumasegger (AT), Didjaman (FR), Tribe of Sound (CH/FR), Frank Heinkel (DE), Tongue’n’Groove (AU), Ash Dargan (AU), Jeremy Donovan (AU), Charlie McMahon (AU), Dörte Schlüter (DE), Marko Johnson (US), Ondrej Smeykal (CZ), Andrea Ferroni (IT), Ali Andress (AT), Aurea (DE), Markus Meurer & Stephan Braun (DE), Salil Kanika (NEP), 3ple-D (NL), Stein & Turnbull (DE & GB), Gumaroy (AU), Mike Edwards (GB), Roman Buss & Sven Quartier (CH & BE), Didgevoice (CH), Neverest (DE), Alexander Lauterwasser/Willi Grimm (DE/CH), D/JAM\BE (DE), Alan Dargin (AU) Scott Wilson (AU),  Keeni (AU), Jeremy Cloake (NZ), Sounds of Atlas (FR), Dubravko Lapaine (HR), Fast (AT), Gauthier Aube (FR), Analogue Birds (DE), A.A.R.A. (CH/DE/AT), Airtist (DE/HU), Fiorino Fiorini (IT), Zalem (FR), Romandidge (CH), The Bar Mates (CH/AU), William Thoren (USA), Role Stettler (CH), Youva Gaudé (FR), Mélusine Rey Guillon (FR), Patrick Frey (CH), Lies Beijerinck (NL), Eddy Halat (GER), Sonalp (CH), Adèle & Zalem (FR),Swiss Oldies (CH), Amanitalinda (SK), Die Drei Herren (AT), Willi Grimm & Jakob Lusti (CH), Marc Miethe (DE), Agustina Mosca (ARG), 88 and a didge (CH), The Trip (IT).

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