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This article was published on April 9, 2020

Watch 50+ live performances from Montreux Jazz Festival for free

But access is limited until April 18, so be quick!

Watch 50+ live performances from Montreux Jazz Festival for free
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

The good people behind the iconic Montreux Jazz Festival have made over 50 live recordings from the event freely available (until April 18) to enjoy during your lockdown music sessions.

If you’ve never heard of Montreux Jazz Festival, I can only assume you don’t really care about music, so let me indulge.

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It might be branded as a jazz festival, but over the years it’s played host to a whole variety of acts including, Queen, Eric Clapton, Deep Purple, Alanis Morissette, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash… Shall I keep going? Ok. The likes of B.B. King, Van Morrison, Jaco Pastorious, Status Quo, Nina Simone, and many others have graced the Montreux stages over the years.

Credit: Olivier Bruchez
The Montreux Jazz Festival has been canceled this year due to coronavirus, but you can rifle through a back catalog of performances for free for 30 days.

The festival’s founder, Claude Nobs, was even written into rock’n’roll history when the event’s original venue burned down after a Frank Zappa concert in the 1970s. The incident went on to inspire the first song everyone learns to play on guitar, Deep Purple’s “smoke on the water,” where the lyrics read: “Funky Claude was running in and out, pulling kids out the ground…”

More than just jazz

And now, thanks to the festival’s partnership with live music streaming platform Qello, you can bring some of that Montreux Jazz experience to your living room. This is a bucket list festival for me, so I can’t think of a better way to spend the bank holiday weekend, especially given that we have to stay indoors anyway.

It’s worth noting that Stingray Qello has also opened up some of its back catalog, so by signing up via Montreux Jazz Festival, you gain access to a whole mountain of live music. But you better get watching, because free access is only available until April 18, 2020.

I’ve only spent the last 30 minutes or so rummaging through Qello’s collection, but there’s such a broad range of shows on offer I’d put money on everyone finding something to suit their tastes.

Personal highlights for me are: Rage Against The Machine, The Who, Mumford and Sons, Santana, Queen, and Shania Twain… (I don’t care what you say, she puts on a great show.) Honestly though, I haven’t found anything I wouldn’t watch.

There’s also a ton of documentaries about all kinds of artists from Green Day to The Eagles to the Bee Gees. Think of it this way, Qello is kind of like Netflix, but for live music acts.

So by now, I’m sure you’re begging me for the good stuff.

Here’s how

Luckily, it couldn’t be simpler and takes less than 30 seconds to get access to this smorgasbord of a back catalog.

  1. Go to
  2. You’ll then be presented with a promo code box, put in the code FREEMJF1M, and click enter
  3. Browse away until your heart’s content
  4. To go straight to the Montreux Jazz Festival shows, follow this link:

H/T – Montreux Jazz Festival

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