BACK TO BUSINESS: Hallenstadion this summer will host concerts by Sza, Sam Smith, Elton John and more.  (Nicola Pitaro)


Although the pandemic has been considered mostly over in the United States for well over a year now, the first half of 2023 was the first period of relative normality for much of the rest of the world, especially Europe. This was reflected in the touring activity demonstrated in Pollstar’s quarterly charts, which had the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland, a 13,000-capacity facility, ranked No. 1 among all arenas for Q1.

Hallenstadion CEO Philipp Musshafen

VenuesNow reached out to the 15,500-capacity arena’s CEO, Philipp Musshafen, for his take on being top dog against prestigious competition like Madison Square Garden in New York, and The O2 London, and what this year holds in store for visitors to Hallenstadion.

VenuesNow: How do you rate Hallenstadion’s Q1 ranking in Pollstar, especially in view of the difficult years of 2020/2021?

Philipp Musshafen: I’m pleased to see that so many event organizers, artists and, above all, concertgoers have visited us in the first few months of this year. The result shows that the demand for live events is still high even after the pandemic. Of course, the very positive result was also influenced by some COVID-related postponements from 2020/2021.

Is the business back? Is it possible to work normally again, and do challenges remain?

In most respects, normality has returned, if one can even speak of “normal” since COVID. But there are also new challenges, for example the short-term nature of the entire event industry, which will continue to accelerate in 2023. The willingness to commit has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, both among artists and ticket buyers. And the rising prices in all areas are of course challenging for everyone, the energy price among many, which has increased tenfold.

How important is a well-coordinated team in achieving such success?

Incredibly important. These kinds of successes are the result of the work of the entire Hallenstadion team. It makes me incredibly proud to see how, even after two difficult years, we are still pouring our heart and soul into serving our customers and guests every day. After a long period of closed doors, we were able to return at full throttle with events coming back from one day to the next. This was an enormous challenge for all employees and stakeholders, which I believe we mastered with flying colors.

What highlights await visitors to the Hallenstadion in the coming months?

We have just launched our new studio offering, the STUDIO, effectively our entry-level VIP offer, which can be booked as an upgrade at events for groups of up to 12 people. We have also opened our second custom-designed box, the Design Loge by de Sede.

Both offers provide a unique event experience. You can indulge in culinary delights before dedicating yourself entirely to the artists, including perfect views. Event-wise, we are looking forward to many highlights. Former President Barack Obama just recently visited us and we will welcome many other  stars such as Sam Smith, Sza, Hans Zimmer, Herbert Grönemeyer, Elton John, Lewis Capaldi, 50 Cent and Helene Fischer.