The Montreux Jazz Festival, one of the largest and longest-running in the industry, is keeping its 50-year-old brand fresh by spreading it beyond Lake Geneva without comprising its famed values of intimacy and creativity.
The iconic Swiss brand is expanding its global franchise of jazz clubs and increasingly looking at international licensing of its annual festival, which celebrated its golden jubilee this July.
Friday marks the official launch of the Montreux Jazz Cafe in Singapore following successful openings across Switzerland, Paris and Abu Dhabi. The venue is aimed at showcasing emerging musicians in addition to top-notch international talent, such as English soul legend Omar Lyefook who will be performing on Friday.
"The last thing we want to be is a Starbucks of jazz clubs," CEO Mathieu Jaton told CNBC. "We're very selective about locations and Singapore made sense as it was a gateway to Asia."
Meanwhile, the music festival, which currently takes place in Tokyo and Montreux, will be expanding to Rio de Janeiro next year, set for the military base of Fort Copacabana.
The festival—a key contributor to the Swiss economy, bringing in an estimated $60 million in direct revenue for the town of Montreux—could be a welcome source of income for Brazil, which is currently in recession.
The festival was no stranger to international licensing, having previously staged collaborative events in Detroit and Atlanta, but those came to an end as they did not meet Montreux's standards, Jaton said