Massive Swiss wine festival to end up in the red

The Fête des Vignerons celebrates the viticulture traditions of the Lavaux and Chablais wine regions Keystone

The latest Fête des Vignerons – a traditional winegrowers’ festival held roughly every 20 years in the Swiss lakeside town of Vevey – will probably make a loss. Organisers are reportedly set to record additional costs of around CHF16 million ($16.2 million). 

This content was published on September 14, 2019 - 12:41
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“We actually lost an average of CHF1.6 million per performance,” François Margot, president of the winegrowers’ guild, told the 24 Heures newspaper on Saturday. 

However, Margot refused to speak of a “deficit”. He said the final figures had not been calculated and not all invoices had been settled. 

Nevertheless, costs are already 5-10% higher than originally planned. Organisers initially reckoned with a budget of about CHF100 million, with half going to the artistic performances and half to the operational side. 

Margot does not want to allocate the additional costs to a specific part. Rather, he says, it was an accumulation of various factors that had led to additional costs. 

In order to compensate for the additional costs, the winegrowers’ guild is now trying to increase income and reduce expenditure, for example through financial support from partners and patrons. 

The Fête des Vignerons took place from July 18 to August 11 and attracted around 375,000 spectators. Tickets for a show in the 20,000-seat outdoor arena – featuring more than 7,000 local actors, singers and musicians – cost CHF79-359.



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