Major events – facts and figures

Throughout the year, Switzerland hosts hundreds of festivals and sporting, cultural and political events. Roughly every 25 years, Switzerland holds a National Exhibition.

Open-air cinema in Locarno in the evening with thousands of visitors
The Piazza Grande during the Locarno International Film Festival © Locarno Film Festival

  • The 1992 World Economic Forum in Davos provided the stage for the first-ever joint appearance by the then South African President, Frederik W. De Klerk, and Nelson Mandela.
  • 25 world records have been set at the international athletics meeting “Weltklasse Zurich” since it began 80 years ago.
  • The Paléo Festival in Nyon is the largest music festival in Europe. In 2016, 230,000 visitors attended 282 concerts, spread over a 84-hectare site.
  • What sets the Locarno International Film Festival apart are its open-air evening screenings on the Piazza Grande, which regularly attract around 8,000 film buffs.
  • In 2009, the Omega European Masters tournament in Crans-Montana became the first co-sanctioned event between the European Tour and the Asian Tour on European soil.
  • One of the major attractions of the 2002 National Exhibition, Expo. 02, was a giant artificial cloud, equipped with 32,000 nozzles and fed by 88 water pumps.