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Local News Summary of November, 10th

  • Watch fair Baselworld shrinks to half its size
  • Baloise Session 2017 sold out by 99 per cent
  • 20,000 young people expected in Basel for Taizé meeting

Watch fair Baselworld shrinks to half its size

The annual watch fair Baselworld is experiencing a crisis: next year it will drop to half its size, with the number of exhibitors shrinking from 1300 to a maximum of 700.

According to a report by Radio SRF, Christian Jecker, spokesperson for fair company MCH, said the number of exhibitors would shrink “significantly” next year. However, he added that “the most important exhibitors” were still on board, and that Baselworld would remain the “most important watch fair”.

In order to stop the shrinking process, exhibitors will be given a 10 per cent rent reduction at next year's event. The fair will also last for six rather than eight days. It has already been reported that the event will be smaller, however it has not so far been stated that there will be half the number of exhibitors. A new concept must be elaborated on, according to Mr Jecker.

Baselworld is the flagship of Messe Basel but not the only fair experiencing hard times. The fair company MCH group has already announced that it expects its profits this year to be reduced by 50 per cent compared to the previous year.

Baloise Session 2017 sold out by 99 per cent

The Baloise Session 2017 attracted 15,400 visitors which means that it was sold out by 99 per cent, the organisers of the music festival said on Thursday.

The Baloise Session, which took place for the 32nd time, shortened its programme by two concerts to a total of ten, which led to fewer venues. The shorter duration saved enough money to pay for superstar singer Alicia Keys. The winner of fifteen Grammy awards performed twice in the events hall at the Messe Basel as part of the festival.

Further highlights included performances by Nek, Imelda May, Madness, and Kool & the Gang. The closing evening on Thursday starred German singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko and Max Giesinger.

Some concert evenings can be watched on the Internet, the organisers said. TV-broadcastings will be published on the festival website as soon as they are available. The next Baloise Session is expected to take place from 19th October to 6th November 2018.

20,000 young people expected in Basel for Taizé meeting

The 40th European meeting of young adults of the ecumenical community Taizé takes place in Basel at the end of the year. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people are expected to attend the five-day event.

The European Meetings of Young Adults is a part of the “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth” which starts in Taizé, France. The first gathering of this kind took place in Paris in 1978, and the last one in the Latvian capital, Riga. Geneva was the first Swiss city to host the event ten years ago, and Basel will be the second.

In three countries for the first time

This year's young adults’ meeting will for the first time be a tri-national event, representatives of the Taizé-community told Basel's media on Thursday. Families, shared flats, and single people in Switzerland, Germany and France will host guests who are mostly between 18 and 35 years old. The exchange between guests and hosts is an important element of the meeting.

The organisers are still looking for hosts, and the demands are modest: Guests bring their own sleeping bag and need only two square metres on the floor as well as four breakfasts and lunches, the organisers' website states. 

Guests arrive on 280 buses

One of the big logistical challenges of the meeting is transport. Guests will arrive mostly on buses from their home countries to the region. Between 250 and 280 coaches are expected in the morning of 28th December.

In order to prevent traffic chaos, only a few of the buses will arrive at Basel St Jakobshalle where the meeting will take place. The other coaches will drive to Saint Louis in France and Lörrach in Germany. The distribution of the young adults to the host communities will follow from the three arrival points.

The participants will spend most of their time praying, singing, and eating. Several workshops on various topics are part of the programme. Ten extra train services per day will be used to carry guests from the neighbouring villages to Basel.

The participation fee for the meeting, which is earmarked by its modesty, costs an average of 55 Euros. Guests from the Ukraine will pay only 40 Euros whereas people from Switzerland and Germany pay a fee of 80 Euros.

Encouraging young adults

Among the central topics of the meeting are solidarity among people, peace, understanding for beliefs, and social engagement. It is also aimed to encourage young adults in uncertain times and let them feel that they are not alone, organisers told the news conference.

European Taizé-meetings are organised by the ecumenical monks' community in Eastern French Taizé. The community was founded in 1940 by Frère Roger Schutz (1915–2005), a pastor from the canton of Vaud.

So far, almost two million young adults from all Christian factions have attended the meetings. The blossoming period of the meetings was in the 1990s when an average of 80,000 to 100,000 participants took part.