Just the other weekend I was able to take a quick trip to Zürich, Switzerland. Now Switzerland is well known as one of the most expensive countries in Europe, so in an effort to save money, we arrived Friday afternoon and left Saturday evening. While traveling to any country is fun on its own, I had a major motivator to go specifically to Zürich on this specific Friday—one of my favorite singers would be performing there that evening.
Now, it might not make a lot of sense at first as to why I would take a three and a half hour train ride out to see some singer, but let me give you some context. This singer, Woodkid, is not super well known. By no means is he a super underground artist, he does have some 2 million listeners on Spotify, but he also is not someone you’ll hear on the radio any old day in America though his songs are featured in movie soundtracks and the occasional commercial. The other big thing is that Woodkid is French, so most of the time if he’s touring, it’s happening in Europe.
Back in October when I found out I would be studying abroad in France, I jokingly looked into whether or not he’d be playing any shows around the time I’d be visiting. Unfortunately, he played a show in Paris just before I arrived back in January and will be playing at another venue in France a few weeks after I’m gone. What I did notice though was he had a variety of shows scheduled scattered throughout Europe for most of April. At the time, I thought it would be fun to go, but didn’t take myself too seriously.
Fast-forward a few months, I checked back in on the tour dates and started to keep tabs on when and where he’d be by putting the dates on my calendar. Now that I was officially in Europe and confident it would be safe to travel to about the continent, I could make some headway in planning this. Ultimately, I ended up only booking the tickets about three weeks before the actual show. I convinced another study abroad student to tag along with me despite the fact she’d never heard of this singer before.
The two of us took a train and after two transfers, we arrived in Zürich. We made it into the city around 1 p.m. and so we had a bit of time to explore the downtown area before we had to head uptown to where our hotel and the venue was. Zürich is in the German speaking part of Switzerland, so we really got really see the German influences on the architecture, and of course that meant our French did us no good and we were struggling through interactions—luckily a lot of people spoke English just fine. After riding a ferris wheel, picking up some chocolate, and finding some souvenirs, we took the public transit train to where the venue was.
This show was general admission, so we decided to get there about a half an hour early to try and find good spots. Luckily the concert wasn’t sold out, so we managed to get spots super close to the front without feeling crushed by all the people behind us. The show went on for about an hour and a half, and my favorite song from each album was sung! You could really tell that everyone in the audience was excited to be there; this tour had been postponed at least twice I’m pretty sure, so clearly everyone was thrilled to finally get to see the show.
Ultimately, this moment has to be one of my favorites from my entire study abroad experience despite the fact that it wasn’t even something that happened in my host country. It really was such a once in lifetime opportunity, and it very well might have been my one and only time ever getting to see him perform. I hope one day in the future he’ll tour in the U.S., the closest he’ll get this tour is Montreal. I’m definitely excited to be able to tell everyone when I get back about the time I went to see one of my favorite artists perform in Switzerland while I was studying abroad in France.
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<p>Bonjour! My name is Julianna Caskie (she/her) and I am from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I’m a junior at Lehigh University studying political science with minors in both architecture studio as well as women, gender, and sexuality studies (strange combo, I know). In my free time I love to read, travel, dance, and compete in Mock Trial tournaments with my team. I can’t wait to share my journey in Paris with you!</p>