The world’s most extravagant wine event

The world’s most extravagant wine event

“For the first time we’re selling tickets online,” explained François Margot, the head of the Confrérie des Vignerons, when ticket sales launched in September 2018. “Now the whole world can come.” In prior years, it was not easy for outsiders, even Swiss from other cantons, to attend since tickets could only be purchased in person. As a result, this year’s Fête was easily the biggest ever.

Aside from this 21st-Century update, this year’s spectacle used cutting-edge technology. The temporary 20,000-seat, earthquake-proof, open-air arena built in Vevey’s market square featured five stages and the world’s largest LED screen to give all attendees an immersive theatre experience. This year’s attendees also had the chance to see the show at night, which is a break from past tradition, and drew 375,000 people to its 20 performances – with many attending multiple times. 

“Each performance was a different experience” said Sabine Liebherr, a Vevey resident who saw the 2019 show five times: at night, in the afternoon, for the coronation and finale.

To top off the millennial makeover, this year’s festival was much more inclusive than ever before. Each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons were invited to show off their heritage by hosting outdoor performances, food tastings and wines on designated days. But most notably, more women – including female winegrowers – took centre stage.