GAIA 2024
Music Festival
on Lake Thun, in Thun and Berne

Of Courageous Freedom and Freed Courage


Tuesday 26 April to
Sunday 5 May 2024

Klösterli Oberhofen
Oberhofen Castle
Hilterfingen Church
The Town Church Thun
Scherzligen Church Thun
Casino Bern Burgerratssaal

GAIA Music Festival

Of Courageous Freedom and Freed Courage

Dear visitors,

The desire to be free lies deep in our souls. This might be one of the reasons why we repeatedly embark on journeys that involve abandoning the familiar and traversing borders. The idea of freedom prompts people to pack their bags and explore the unknown. However, freedom requires courage. Freedom is not handed to us. We have to take charge of it and recognise that life is more fulfilling when we make our own decisions. Therein lies responsibility. Perhaps this is why the narrative of freedom is a story full of contradictions and duality. A story that oscillates between beginnings and endings, departures and arrivals, war and peace, suffering and joy; a story of integrity and solidarity and the dream of simply being.

"Sei a Mensch" is a Yiddish expression. It is based on neither religion nor politics. It simply means ‘doing good’ and this idea transcends cultures. It is as universal as the sound of music. With "Mensch – Of Courageous Freedom and Freed Courage", we are taking you on a expansive and interconnected global journey. At this year's festival, we will share stories about people, courage and freedom. These stories take us to Central Europe and accompany refugees who flee to the USA. This is a world tour where we will pass through Bonn and marry woes and passions, deepen love and a desire to have children, discover great legacies, set off for the Basque Country, find beauty behind bars and reconcile ourselves with the past.

At GAIA, we do this with great artists from all over the world, great artists from the worlds of music and literature, because we know that as long as we play music, we are free. We warmly welcome you! Courageously free and… as a Mensch.


Gwendolyn Masin, Artistic Director

And the GAIA Music Festival team