Switzerland, August 6: How the Day Began

comments 19
Performance Photography / Photo Log / Photography / Switzerland


August 6, 2019; Vevey, Switzerland. One of the highlights of our trip was the sixteenth Fête des Vignerons (Winegrower’s Festival.) We’d never heard of the Fête and had no idea of its magnitude and importance. The first clues we got were in the week before the photo workshop while we were visiting friends near Lake Neuchatel in northwestern Switzerland. Every time we mentioned that we were going to the Fête, the response was a more profound “wow” than we’d gotten when we told friends that we’d scored tickets to Springsteen on Broadway last year. This was apparently a very big deal.

It was. Oliver planned a couple years in advance to make this a part of our trip and purchased the tickets last September.

You can read about it here and here. (The second link should have a translate option near the top of the page.) The briefest of summaries: The Fête takes the form of an extremely elaborate two-and-a-half-hour opera which tells the story of a year in the local region. While the theme is wine growing, the story touches on all aspects of life including life in the village, which includes cattle and goat farming, which are central to the culture.

The performance is in a twenty-thousand seat stadium which was purpose-built for the event and will be dismantled when the festivities end. If you look at a satellite view of Vevey, you won’t see a stadium; instead you will see a large parking lot near the water. The stadium is in view of the vineyards being celebrated. Look to the upper left in the stadium photo above.

Before the performance, Oliver set up a shot with some of the performers. These women and girls represent the buds on the grapevines. They are but a tiny proportion of the six thousand performers, almost all of whom are volunteers. Not sure who had more fun: we or they.

Oliver getting the performers arranged.


Cooling off after the shot. It was 91º F (33º C).


Although cameras (other than phones) were prohibited, I managed to get my pocketable Canon G7X II through the gate. This was the camera I used all day. The best camera is the one you have with you. I’ll only include two photos — I encourage you to see the website.

Celebration of the cows coming home from the Alpine pastures. (In the U.S., we party till the cows come home. In Switzerland, they party when the cows come home.)


The fairy overseeing the proceedings. All proceedings need a fairy to oversee them.


After the show, we were allowed to go down to the stadium floor (which was made from the world’s largest LCD screen with constantly changing patterns and scenes during the show) and photograph the performers having their unofficial Fêtes.


Later, as you already know, the heavens opened up.

And then…

Stay tuned.

(Canon G7X II. RAW processing in DxO Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at www.amagaphoto.com All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. richardwilson964400601 says

    What an event! It reminds me of the Opening Ceremonies for FIFA World Cup or a Superbowl halftime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was more elaborate and more entertaining than any Super Bowl halftime ever conceived or executed. By a wide margin. Breathtaking. Even though it was completely in French, it did not prevent me from gasping with thrill or getting choked up at times.


  2. richardwilson964400601 says

    Being at one of those huge live events can be an amazing, breathtaking experience I’m glad you were there to be a part of it!


  3. What a great event and so lucky Oliver scored tickets for you. A once, or maybe twice, in a lifetime opportunity. Where’s Waldo tipping a tall stemmed glass? I think the young lady in the final shot saw your camera. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing! The scope makes me think of Olympics Opening Ceremonies. What a blast that you got to go. Love the cows, the horns, and I can imagine I’d love all of it. Oh, and the fairy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s