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Why the rock band Queen loves Montreux

There's one thing that gives Montreux in western Switzerland an edge over other lakeside towns: it's connection to the rock band Queen.

This content was published on December 23, 2020 - 08:00

The group’s flamboyant lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 due to complications from AIDS, made it his home and Queen recorded seven albums here in studios that they owned from 1979 to 1996. A statue of Freddie, erected here in his honour in 1996, is a place of pilgrimage for fans across the world. 

Since 2003, special homage has been paid to Freddie on his birthday in September, with international tribute groups drawing large crowds to a free night of concerts on the lake shore. This was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but a new Freddie walking tour following in the star’s footsteps proved popular in the summer. The 2018 movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” also helped to rekindle interest in the band.

swissinfo.ch travelled to Montreux to find out why one of the most famous rock bands of all has such a lasting appeal in a sleepy lakeside town.

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