Rhythmanalysis of Urban Events: Empirical Elements from the Montreux Jazz Festival

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Rhythmanalysis of Urban Events: Empirical Elements from the Montreux Jazz Festival


  • Guillaume Drevon Urban Sociology Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Luca Pattaroni Urban Sociology Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Lucien Delley Urban Sociology Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Fabien Jacot-Descombes Urban Sociology Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Nils Hamel Digital Humanities Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland


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Abstract:  This article proposes an original approach to urban events mapping. At the theoretical level, the article is based on rhythmanalysis and recent research on urban rhythms. It contrasts with previous research by departing from everyday rhythms to tackle the specific rhythms of urban events. Drawing on this theoretical framework, the article proposes to analyse the rhythms of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The article proposes two main types of rhythmic scales, linked with the historical development of the Festival and its annual performance. The methodology is based on a mixed method of data collection and an original analysis framework. The analysis of the historical rhythm is carried out based on the analysis of the festival archives and interviews with experts. The analysis uses the Time Machine visualisation device that reveals three processes of urban resonance: the spread, which shows how the festival is integrated into the existing urban fabric; the openness, which shows accessibility; and the grip, which seeks to evaluate the urban sphere of influence of the event. These different visualisations are enriched by the addition of other data, including ticket scanning and commercial transactions that show the alternance between high and low-intensity periods. These allowed us to not only confirm the impact of programming on flows, but also the effects of the wider organisation of the leisure system. The results of the analysis show that the intertwining of the two rhythmic scales produces a hyper-place that resonates both internationally and locally.

Keywords:  eventful city; GIS; hyper-place; mobility; Montreux Jazz Festival; rhythmanalysis; rhythmic scales; Time Machine; visualisation

Published:   30 June 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v5i2.2940


© Guillaume Drevon, Luca Pattaroni, Lucien Delley, Fabien Jacot-Descombes, Nils Hamel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.