‘They All Came Out To Montreux’, the three-part documentary mini-series telling the story of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, is coming to UK viewers on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer on Friday 16th June at 10.15pm.
With more than 40 testimonies, 30 concert performances and a variety of previously unseen images, this is the first documentary of this magnitude made on the history of Montreux Jazz Festival and its celebrated founder, Claude Nobs.
Now in its 57th year, the Montreux Jazz Festival draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the world, generating legendary stories and performances from its renowned stages on the Lake Geneva shoreline.
These are brought to life in They All Came Out To Montreux with over 70 performances and testimonials from: David Bowie, Ray Charles, Elvis Costello, Carl Craig, Miles Davis, Deep Purple, Aretha Franklin, Gilberto Gil, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Alicia Keys, Questlove, Quincy Jones, John Mclaughlin, Marcus Miller, Prince, Rag’n’Bone Man, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Nina Simone, Sting, Talking Heads, Shania Twain, Van Morrison, Jack White and many others.
The documentary’s title, They All Came Out To Montreux, takes its name from the opening lyrics of Deep Purple’s classic track ‘Smoke On The Water’, which was written about the band’s experiences at the festival.
Directed by British filmmaker Oliver Murray, executive produced by Quincy Jones and produced by BMG and Beyond TNC (a Banijay company) in association with Montreux Media Ventures, the series features three one-hour episodes which will consecutively on BBC Four starting at 10.15pm on Friday 16th June. All three episodes will be available immediately on BBC iPlayer.
In the hour prior at 9pm, BBC Four will air Nina Simone: Live at Montreux 1976, making a Montreux themed night on the channel with an iconic festival performance from a generational talent.
Quincy Jones, historical producer of the Montreux Jazz Festival said: “They All Came Out To Montreux is a wonderful testament to the story behind what I consider to be the ‘Rolls Royce of music festivals’, and how it came to be.”
From the sixties to present day, more than thirty live concert clips illustrate the dazzlingly broad diversity of genres and artists who have graced the stage at Montreux. However, the main character of this incredible story is the festival’s founder Claude Nobs, or ‘Funky Claude’, as he was nicknamed by Deep Purple. As the series unfolds, we discover how he managed to transform a small Swiss town into an unmissable live music event, driven by his love for the region and for jazz itself. The documentary tells the story of Claude’s journey from his childhood and the challenges he had to face in his struggle to make his dream a reality.
Claude was a visionary who afforded musicians an environment where for over 50 years, they could freely express their art no matter their nationality, colour or creed. The cultural impact was significant and the festival played a key role in providing a platform for black American musicians to gain a newfound respect in Europe. As the festival grew it began to feature a range of different genres, including rock, blues, and soul, booking hugely popular bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Santana. This eclectic mix made the small and intimate festival one of the most exciting and dynamic events in the music calendar.
They All Came Out To Montreux is filled with exclusive footage from the Festival’s extensive archives, offering a breathtaking panorama of half a century of music history. The previously unseen footage was captured by Claude Nobs and Montreux Sounds, who meticulously recorded all the festival’s concerts from the late 1960s. This cherished audiovisual archive of over 11,000 hours of live music has been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register since 2013.
The exceptional archives shown in the film are brought to life by Montreux Media Ventures, who are entrusted with exclusive distribution rights to share them throughout the world. Created in 2019, Montreux Media Ventures exists to produce, distribute and editorially curate the content of the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Many of the festival’s finest performances have been released as part of The Montreux Years series. Beginning with musical titans Nina Simone and Etta James, the series then showcased Marianne Faithfull and Muddy Waters, followed by John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Monty Alexander, Paco De Lucía, Michel Petrucciani and, most recently, Dr. John.
ABOUT BEYOND TNC
Beyond TNC (a Banijay company) formed as a joint venture between Australian production company, Beyond Entertainment and TNC Media. The company is based in Dublin with subsidiaries in London and Sydney. Beyond TNC’s remit is to develop, finance, produce and distribute music related documentary TV series and feature films. It specialises in archive heavy narratives and, in addition to They All Came Out To Montreux, has recently been behind productions including Right Here Right Now, the story of Fat Boy Slim’s iconic and out of control party on Brighton beach in 2002, Blitzed which is the tale of the tiny London club in the late 70’s out of which came the whole New Romantic movement, and the soon to be released Mutiny in Heaven which charts the chaotic course of Nick Cave’s first band, The Birthday Party.
BMG’s recent films include the highest grossing documentary film of 2022, Moonage Daydream (HBO Max); DIO: Dreamers Never Die (Showtime) and two feature length documentaries including one on award-winning singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now (Netflix); and Sundance selection Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis), distributed by Utopia and helmed by acclaimed filmmaker Anton Corbijn.
ABOUT MONTREUX MEDIA VENTURES
Montreux Media Ventures is a media, production and content creation company and subsidiary of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Montreux Media Ventures’ mission is to diversify and perpetuate the Festival’s exposure and revenues by producing high quality content year-round.