Backstage – Harri Kunz is one of the best known event specialists in Switzerland. For 22 years, the entertainment around the Tour de Suisse has carried his signature.
He is a living legend – Harri Kunz. Harri has never lent a hand at only a few major Swiss events. You can find him at national and international football matches, traditional fairs, the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival, but also at the Spengler Cup in Davos. In addition, he is the official event manager for the canton of Solothurn (e.g. as a guest canton at the OLMA) and, together with his event company, looks after a wide range of companies throughout Switzerland. He has been associated with the Tour de Suisse for 22 intensive years. “The Tour de Suisse is a rolling public festival,” he enthuses. “Perfect for me.” Today he’s in charge of entertainment and publicity for the Tour de Suisse.
Entry thanks to the sponsorship of the Swiss Credit Suisse SKA
Harri Kunz came into the sponsorship of Kreditanstalt SKA, now Crédit Suisse, via the marketing department of Volksbank Solothurn. At that time SKA was the main sponsor of the Tour de Suisse. A deployment of the motivated Solothurner at the state tour was the logical consequence. When he became self-employed as an event organiser in 1996, the Tour de Suisse was one of his clients. “Nevertheless, I am faced with new organizational challenges every year”. There is no routine, says Harri Kunz with a laugh. His laughter is contagious, his energy tangible. The combination of entertainment and organization is his world. “I can feel what’s coming.” If an entertainment element doesn’t work, he’ll find a better one. He also knows the current stars of the scene, and the scene knows him.
Every November Harri Kunz starts with the preparatory work. In addition, he incorporates the performances of the local stage towns and the main partners into the entertainment programme and juggles the organisation of the advertising column in parallel. Around 50 vehicles will be driving around one hour ahead of the racers on the stage track, making for some sparkling children’s eyes. “It’s always great to see how we can bring joy to the street sides with our give-aways for young and old.”
The timing at the finish line is important. Teamwork is required. Together with speaker Georges Lüchinger, he keeps an eye on the course of the race to coordinate the performances at the finish area. His team consists of seven people. According to Harri Kunz, it is important that the audience feels comfortable, has fun and is entertained at all times. “Then we did our job right.” Harri Kunz emphasizes: “Good entertainment is when everything fits together in the end – the sport and all that goes with it.”