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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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  #2  
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 05.08.2019, 10:26
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Go for the night shows if you can - the lighting effects are much clearer during the night. Moreover, its awfully hot during the day. Still some last minute tickets are available.

day vs night comparison
https://youtu.be/xOKysAAo4Ac
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Old 05.08.2019, 21:09
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Yes, pg2007 is right, the effects at night are worth coming at night.

If you consider coming, one more thing: SBB is now selling tickets with a CHF 30 reduction.

Enjoy!
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Old 06.08.2019, 10:36
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

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Yes, pg2007 is right, the effects at night are worth coming at night.

If you consider coming, one more thing: SBB is now selling tickets with a CHF 30 reduction.

Enjoy!
Here is the SBB/CFF link for the shows on the 6th and 11th. The CHF 30.- discount is valid for some of the more expensive tickets.

https://www.sbb.ch/fr/campagne/feted...x-special.html
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Old 11.08.2019, 17:29
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

Went to the final performing this afternoon. Took the train to/from Nyon. Had more hassles getting to Nyon station because of the triathlon- but that has ended as well with a big Thunderstorm around 4 PM.

Enjoyed the performance very much. We had waited until today because it was Vaud’s day in the sun.

I hope they give us a discount for the next performance, in 20-25 years.
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Old 11.08.2019, 19:12
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Re: Fête des Vignerons 2019

You'll get OAP rate next time
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