Local History

Vevey, Fête des Vignerons 2019. Photo/Foto: TES.

Fête des Vignerons Vevey

The Fête des Vignerons (UNESCO’ cultural heritage event since 2016), is a centuries old tradition, founded by the Confrérie des Vignerons, the Brotherhood of Winegrowers in Lavaux and the Swiss Chablais.

The Confrérie des Vignerons or rather the Abbaye de l’ agriculture (Abbey of landowners) as it was then known until 1770, organised an annual parade of winegrowers through the streets of the town of Vevey since the mid-seventeenth century. The President of the Brotherhood is therefore still entitled Abbé-Président.

The exact date of the foundation of the Confrérie is not known, but around 1770 it organised the annual rewarding of winegrowers and the parade, the Fête des Vignerons. The Fête is organized once a generation, for the twelfth time in 2019 (and in 1797,1819,1833,1851,1865,1889,1905,1927,1955,1977,1999).

Ever more splendid, more elaborate and more beautiful, always innovative and open to society, but respectful for the roots and traditions and what it is all about: to celebrate the labours of the land, to honour the work of the winegrowers and their workers and to respect the habitat of flora and fauna, the four seasons, the rain, the sun, the moon, the snow, the wind and the entire process of winegrowing and the life of the winegrowers, workers and their families and towns and villages.

More than 5 500 actors, 800 singers and 100 musicians (some of them professionals) perform every day during three weeks in a temporary stadium of 20 000 spectators. More than one million visitors attend the shows or visit Vevey.

This venture in the small town of Vevey (around 20 000 inhabitants) is organised by an artistic team of around 50 professionals (direction, production, technique and sets, costumes and accessories).

(Source: S. Carruzzo-Frey, D. Finzi Pasca, G. Favrod, Fête des Vignerons 2019, Vevey 2019).