Rote Fabrik

The alternative cultural center on Lake Zurich, where stars such as Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers have performed, can look back on an eventful history – and forward to an exciting future.

  • Alternative art and cultural scene
    Concerts, movies, theater, and gastronomy under one roof
    Beautiful location on Lake Zurich

The Rote Fabrik, which enjoys a beautiful location overlooking Lake Zurich, is the alternative  counterpart to the classic cultural institutions in the city center.

The well-known cultural center unites concerts, art interventions, movie screenings, and theater performances on social and cultural themes under one roof.

Also located on the Rote Fabrik site are the Shedhalle, an institution for contemporary and critical art, and the restaurant, Ziegel oh Lac.

History:

The Rote Fabrik was a silk-weaving mill until 1940. After it was shut down, many of the rooms stood empty or were used for storage. In the 1970s and 80s, the Zurich youth movement protested against this. They wanted their own, independent cultural center and thought that the factory site would be the ideal place for this.

However, initially the youth movement was not taken very seriously. Only after numerous demonstrations and even riots was the factory site rented out to the “Interessengemeinschaft Rote Fabrik” on a trial basis (incidentally, this interest group still exists today). Soon bands such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Religion, and Manu Chao were playing legendary concerts here, long before they became known in Europe. Günter Grass and Alice Schwarzer held readings in the club room, while performances and discussion evenings with an interested young public took place in the factory theater.

The temporary arrangement finally became a permanent enterprise in 1987, and the concept of the Rote Fabrik is still functioning to this day. 

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