I met Danu within weeks after I arrived in Zug. I had just released the Zug rocks song. He asked to see me. I met him at his previous office at the old train station house behind Chamerstrasse. Danu welcomed me with generous compliments. He said that the song was the best piece of marketing that the Canton had ever produced. He was almost upset why he had not thought of something like that. I returned the compliment by confessing that I came to Zug because of his events. It is true. When I googled Zug, the images of the Seefest and the Sports Festival made me think that this place was happening or that at least the summers would be great fun.
So I was thrilled to hear that the Zug Sports festival was back this August. And of course I wanted to know more. I also wanted to relaunch my blog with this happy happening, as a milestone of getting back to getting together as Zugers. I see it as our celebration after one and half years of challenging times due to the pandemic.
I visited Danu at his current office at Freiruum and me standing and him sitting, I asked the questions you might also have about the upcoming event. By the way, Danu’s office seems to be open to all who want to pass by and say hi or chat about his activities.
Let’s start with the most impressive fact about this year’s festival. The 20 years anniversary! First of all CONGRATULATIONS! Now tell me, what has changed over these 20 years for the Festival?
Everything changed! The world changed and with it the festival. What we started as a sporty brother of the Woodstock Festival (Boardstock) has grown (too) fast and we needed to become more professional. With that came the sponsors and we almost lost our soul. This is where we launched the ZugSPORTS Festival, with Sponsors that supported our Focus to more movement and joy in life.
This year you are taking the festival from the lake to Metalli. Why?
A festival with 15000 visitor at the lakeside without having the chance to control access has no chance for permission. In Metalli, we have a secure and safe surrounding and perfect conditions. But who knows, maybe we do both next year?
What’s special about this year’s Zug Sports Festival? Excite me!
20 days instead of 2 days! The branding of Metalli, the gallery of Sports associations, the Sika stage, the playground!
I had early glimpse on the schedule for each day. There is something for everybody. Whatever your sport, whatever your passion, this year’s Zug SPORTS festival has it covered. Still I spotted my personal favorites.
– I won’t miss any of the cheerleading performances. I am fascinated by the talent of these skillful young people. And there are a few of them at the Sika stage.
– There is a ping pong, or table tennis for others, tournament every day. Not only there is the opportunity for some fun games and impressive returns, but there is a prize at the end of each day. And each Saturday, the winner goes home with the whole table. Now that’s a prize. But you have to pick it up right there. Did I mention that everybody’s a winner since each participant takes home a brand new racket?
– Being a EVZ enthusiast myself, I have put on my calendar the appointment with the EVZ players on August 11st at 5pm. Get ready for some cool stories I will share with my heros.
– The Health day is on August 14th and I admit that I have a couple of questions to run by the experts.
– I am super excited for the Family Day on August 21st. I already booked my brother to visit me from Geneva, so I can enjoy with my nephew all the games that kids and toddlers can enjoy only at cool Fun parks in the country.
– Finally I was promised some spectacular boards at the Vereinsgallerie with audiovisual material from the canton Sports Associations, EVZ being one of them of course.
– And I love the idea of the huge Metalli, so the persisting rain of this summer will not ruin our fun plans.
What about the other Zug Canton festivals? Zuger Seefest, Aegeri on Ice. What are the upcoming plans for these?
We need to take care that we will not be run over. People are so happy to get out again and the younger ones have been locked down more than a year. I have respect when they are all unleashed. Therefore we will make sure that people rather have a supergood time and enjoy themselves than push for maximum turnover at the bar. Those events will be made with love.
By the way due to the pandemic all these festivals were cancelled last year. How tough was this for you? How did you use this time away from us?
We stopped defending the status quo and thought about how to get better. It has become clear that we do not focus on short 2 or 3 days events anymore, we will invest into more sustainable formats such as the Waldparcours or zug.run. They are our future, the Festivals will be used to set impulses and attract more people.
During our initial chat two years back, a chat that went from Zug, to life choices in general, all the way to business, I sensed in Danu a genuine love for people, or I should say, the Zug people. He kept saying that his events were about the people and the benefits they get from them. That was his main driver. One of his strong beliefs is that moving can make a difference in Zugers lives. In his own words, he believes that “… supporting movement and bringing a bit of joy in life suits the region well. And we want people to get inspired being more positive. Everyone benefits from it: you, your friends, your family, your work…”
Indeed I saw on your website zug.run. What is that?
20 Trails in Zug, all of them incredible, it shows where they are and how you can get there, absolutely splendidly executed.
Are your social media exciting? Why should I follow you?
Oh, we would need you, Dimitri. There is so much to do, we are not where we could and should be. But whoever supports us will be part of that development.
Modest, table of one, your table is ready. Their social media are super! The new zug.sports website is modern and to the point. Their Instagram /zugsports account has more action than Netflix and more coolness than all the Kardashians together. Take a look yourselves.
Finally I asked Danu to send me a short bio of his to put at the end of my article. He never sent it to me. And then I remembered that his motto in life is “it’s not about me”. Once more his actions prove it. He is inspiring in that way. Himself, he draws inspiration from his wife for her strength and her kindness and from his daughter for reminding him every day all the reasons why life is wonderful!
On that note, let’s all give an appointment at Metalli this August to celebrate that life is wonderful (again) 😊