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Old 10.10.2018, 21:57
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Fête des Vignerons 2019

What happens when hundreds of Swiss winemakers are given over twenty years to plan and stage a celebration of everything that they hold dear with the help of thousands of volunteers on the shores of Lake Geneva? An event that is held so dearly in the previous generation of attendants' memory that it starts selling out more than 300 days before it takes place.

The Fête des Vignerons in Vevey is that event, my mother went with my grandmother in 1977 and still recalls it vividly. Unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to have a three-generation outing in 1999 and my grandmother passed away two years ago, but I will be there next year and think of her. Since this is one of the beautiful side-effects of living in a country that is so deeply steeped in traditions, some of which infuriate many EF members, I thought I'd point out this event before it sells out. Yes, tickets are expensive, but I'm told they are worth it.

From the website:
The Fête des Vignerons pays homage to viticultural traditions many centuries old of an entire region with a spectacular show and coronation of the vineyard hands.
Organised by the Confrérie des Vignerons, this celebration, unique in the world, takes place once a generation in Vevey, the town situated at the heart of the viticultural region Lavaux, in the canton of Vaud, in Switzerland.
It is the first living Swiss tradition to have been recognised by UNESCO

The celebration takes place as a series of shows over several weeks, with every show dedicated to a different canton or a different aspect of Switzerland. Some are in the daytime, others in the evening.

Just a few pointers:
  • if you plan to stay the night, book now; the organisers told me in May that this will be more of a challenge than getting tickets to the shows.
  • some shows are already almost sold out (unless you are happy to pay upwards of 240 francs per ticket), such as the one where Fribourg is the guest canton (the "Ranz des Vaches" is their "showpiece" my mam said that the whole crowd joining in was spine-tingling stuff)
  • the Ticketcorner Website is an absolute nightmare, I would not attempt it on mobile, even on a desktop, it made me want to physically harm their website designer. What I found helpful was to scroll down a bit to where there is a model of the arena shown and then click on the link just above the picture. This opens a pdf where you see the entirety of the arena, making for easier selection of your spot. The black dots are posts, so try not to place yourself right behind those. The rest of the workings are too complicated to explain, just be prepared for it to be harder than it needs to be - mind you, I may just be a bit thick.
  • my mam says that if you are sat high up (aka in the gods), it's worthwhile making sure you are facing the lake, as this adds the French Alps to your view; not sure how it is further down.
  • as you can imagine, Vevey does not really have parking for that many people, so take into account the need to use public transport, if only for the last section of the journey. Also, it is a winemaker's party. Take the train. Drink the wine. Be merry.
  • there are usually a fair few horses and cows involved unless they go all modern and have drones wearing bells or something, so if you are allergic to these or deeply offended by animals used in spectacles, probably not for you.
  • there is also a very high likelihood of yodelling and alphorning, plus I am going to assume that the respective canton adds its own flavour to the proceedings, hence my hard no to going when Basel is heading - I despise piccolos (but love drums, so maybe that was a bad decision)

That is all that I can contribute at this point, I hope this information is of some use to at least a few of you.

Last edited by Kittster; 11.10.2018 at 00:37. Reason: Fixed typos
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Old 11.10.2018, 10:48
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

As Yogi Berra once quipped. Nobody goes there, it is too crowded.
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Old 11.10.2018, 14:40
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

I've heard fm FIL about this festival. I am sure he will try to go next year. Every 20 years seems incredible. Maybe i'll wait for the next one, should be back in CH for that one lol
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Old 11.10.2018, 17:02
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

My parents went in 1977 (I wasn't even born then) but still I know about it because they told us repeatedly we have bought tickets as well already and they are looking forward to it
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Old 12.10.2018, 12:58
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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My parents went in 1977 (I wasn't even born then) but still I know about it because they told us repeatedly we have bought tickets as well already and they are looking forward to it
Same, it really seems to be something special, I hope it lives up to the hype!
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Old 25.11.2018, 09:33
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Thanks, we are new to Vaud and Switzerland, and all these traditions. You have motivated me to buy tickets, although only the cheapest for 80 francs in the last row! I guess we will be going for the atmosphere and tradition rather than the detailed examination of people and animals
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Old 24.06.2019, 22:15
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Not much longer to go and really looking forward to it!
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Old 25.06.2019, 20:04
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

In case you're clueless like I was, the event runs 18th July to 11th August.

It looks like the official ticketing site is starticket.ch and there are also point of sale stores such as Manor, Coop, and kiosks.

Price list here
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Old 26.06.2019, 03:08
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

I'm looking forward to determining whether losing the large carpark and market place at Vevey for the past year, and the ongoing noise, disruption and visual eyesoreness caused by construction of the towering but temporary stadium, are in any way compensated by the uniqueness and sheer scale of the show(s). The budget (well, that's a misnomer, let's just call it costs -- the original budget was for a far smaller amount) has now run to over CHF 100 million!
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Old 26.06.2019, 09:50
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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I'm looking forward to determining whether losing the large carpark and market place at Vevey for the past year, and the ongoing noise, disruption and visual eyesoreness caused by construction of the towering but temporary stadium, are in any way compensated by the uniqueness and sheer scale of the show(s). The budget (well, that's a misnomer, let's just call it costs -- the original budget was for a far smaller amount) has now run to over CHF 100 million!
I live in Vevey. I have already determined it isn't worth it. That wasn't just a carpark/market place, it was also the road to get through town without taking the main road. It's been bad for traffic. And what an eyesore that entire project is on the lake front.

I've been to 2 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and several university spring breaks on Mexican beaches. I'm probably just a grumpy old man now, but drunken debauchery on a grand scale doesn't appeal to me anymore. It's masked as some sort "classy" wine appreciation/festival, but I feel sadly confident that it's just a drunk fest. Having to see/listen to drunkenness every night for a month into the wee hours of the morning, really does not do it for me. I'll be out of town as much as I can. But again, I acknowledge that I am a grumpy old man that doesn't want anybody on his lawn.
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Old 26.06.2019, 10:07
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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drunken debauchery on a grand scale doesn't appeal to me anymore. It's masked as some sort "classy" wine appreciation/festival, but I feel sadly confident that it's just a drunk fest.
Wish I bought tickets for more of the weekends now
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Old 26.06.2019, 10:17
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

If you want tickets, although it is probably a bot late now, go for evening tickets, it gets very hot in Vevey during the summer and sat inside a metalic inverted cone like structure with a glass LED floor will only increase the temperature.


Best places are with your back to Montreux to avoid the sun being in your eyes, take plenty of water and sun screen.


All places have an excellent view even the Chf 80.-- places up with the Gods where there should be a bit more air circulating...


PS The budget has already gone through Chf 120 mio
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Old 26.06.2019, 17:36
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

@ Today only - I even groan myself over my cranky attitude. Hopefully I look back at the end of this and think it was amazing. I'll gladly come eat crow on this thread.
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Old 26.06.2019, 18:23
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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@ Today only - I even groan myself over my cranky attitude. Hopefully I look back at the end of this and think it was amazing. I'll gladly come eat crow on this thread.

I actually went to last last one, equally as skeptical as you are now and believe me, it was worth it !


Buy an Chf 80.-- ticket, try to get an evening performance and i am sure you will regret it far less that if you don't go
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Old 19.07.2019, 09:13
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

OK - I'm new (enough) to Switzerland and I'm trying to figure out what this festival is.

From what I've determined it's a "SHOW" where I buy tickets in a stadium to sit and watch a canton do something on the stage. Or should I expect that the town is doing something as well as the stadium. All my research (it hasn't been that much) indicates that I sit in a stadium and watch a show for the entire day.

Please, please help me understand.
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Old 19.07.2019, 09:38
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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OK - I'm new (enough) to Switzerland and I'm trying to figure out what this festival is.

From what I've determined it's a "SHOW" where I buy tickets in a stadium to sit and watch a canton do something on the stage. Or should I expect that the town is doing something as well as the stadium. All my research (it hasn't been that much) indicates that I sit in a stadium and watch a show for the entire day.

Please, please help me understand.



Not quite, the show is about 2h30 long, rest of the time you sit around the lake drinking, eating etc, it is a GIANT party that streches from the begining of Vevey to La Tour de Peilz, aboutr3km all along the lake.


Once you've done this their are a serious amount of bars and Caveaux in the town of Vevey.
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Old 19.07.2019, 09:41
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

THank you for the help.
Now I need to figure out if it's worth the cost to go - (driving, parking, tickets.....)
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Old 19.07.2019, 20:29
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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THank you for the help.
Now I need to figure out if it's worth the cost to go - (driving, parking, tickets.....)
Train. That solves all three of the problems you mentioned, and whatever amount you drink will have no impact on your return trip. Oh, I suppose by "tickets", you meant for the show. You should still be able to get some through the official channels; they haven't sold out all performances.

In any case, parking is impossible in Vevey at the moment.
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Old 19.07.2019, 20:52
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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Train. That solves all three of the problems you mentioned, and whatever amount you drink will have no impact on your return trip. Oh, I suppose by "tickets", you meant for the show. You should still be able to get some through the official channels; they haven't sold out all performances.

In any case, parking is impossible in Vevey at the moment.
Parking is impossible because they build the stadium on their biggest parking lot, the Place du Marché. Also they've build bars all over in the downtown area and that's taking up any spare parking too. There's P+R but expect it to be full, you're probably better off using Lausanne's P+R.
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Old 21.07.2019, 20:23
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Just giving some info on my experience last night returning from the Fête des Vignerons.

I was actually there volunteering but when we left Vevey it happened to be about one hour after the show ended (12.30pm). From 11.30 onwards hundreds of people had been streaming to the train station. Once we arrived at 12.30 there was an enormous line of people to get into the train station. Staff had roped off the entrances and were in control of when people entered.

We waited in line then were eventually allowed on to the platforms. We actually chose not the next train, but the one after, due to crowding. Funnily enough it came before the scheduled next train and departed before the over crowded platform 1.

It was fine really, but I am posting this so people have an idea of what it will be like and realise that it is not so simple as picking a train home in advance.
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