Fêtes de Genève is the annual festival of Geneva conducted every year at a stretch of 11 days in August. Although the pre-festival period generally starts by mid-July, thus, makes the whole celebration last for a month. An indulging, grasping and even more amusing carnival brings in the symphony of spirited joy, escalated fun and romanticised bliss, leaving with it an enduring cloud of memories and a long wait of a year.
What is Fêtes de Genève?
Fêtes de Genève could be translated in English as ‘Festivities of Geneva’. It is annual festival that happens every August for 11 days. The beginning of the festival is marked by brief fireworks but the highlight remains the grand fireworks show that happens on the second last day of the festival, which is generally second Saturday of August each year.
The festival started 94 years back with the aim to provide social gathering opportunities to locals and tourists in the spirit of summer. Initially called as ‘Festival of Flowers’, the name eventually changed to ‘Festivities of Geneva’ as it cultivated more activities, entertainment and food booths for enticing and engaging the crowd. The festivity is marked by all sources of recreation ranging from world cuisines to rollercoaster rides to cocktails hubs to live DJ clubs. Every year it is expanding to create more themes and activities within the fest, like this time we also had Street Art display. More and more retailers, both commercial and artisanal, plant their booths and stalls, luring and alluring huge crowd with their expertise and dexterity. It is like an adventure town within the city bringing all cultures together and celebrating one ecstasy of pure delight and laughter.
Where does Fêtes de Genève happen in Geneva?
It starts from Pont du Mont Blanc (Mont-Blanc Bridge) and moves on both sides of the banks of Lake Leman. The fireworks show happens at Jet d’eau, the tall fountain and one of the popular attractions of Geneva.
Nearest Stops are:
- Mont- Blanc
- Bus Numbers: 6, 8, 9, 25, G+, NA, NC and NS
- Tram Number: 12
- Bus Numbers: 2, 3, 6, 7,10, 36, NA, NC
- Tram Number: 12
- Bus Numbers: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 25
Ferry stops are also there to attend the fest, which are:
- Geneve-Mt-Blanc (lac)
- Geneve-Jardin-Angais (lac)
- Geneve- Quai Gustave Ador (lac)
- Geneve- Eaux-Vives (lac)
How to attend Fêtes de Genève?
The entry to the festival is free. Ofcourse, drinks, food and activities are payable. There are numerous booths that keep the crowd engaged and thrilled. It is always a pride to walk by the bank overlooking the beautiful lake, scenic harbour and exquisite Jet d’eau.
Major elements of Fêtes de Genève
- There are booths serving all kinds of world cuisines. Authentic, diverse, soulful, relishing…each booth comes with its own speciality of food and flavour. There are multiple cocktail bars, beer hubs and drinking kiosks that would ensure to multiply the excitement and fun at the fest. The glasses are also supposed to be bought with the drinks for a deposit of 2 CHF per glass, but they can be exchanged, replaced or returned at any booth and any day of the festival. They can also be kept as a souvenir.
- The best part about the festival are the live DJ Clubs. Most of the clubs do not impose compulsory buying of the drinks, and consequently anybody can be a part of the ongoing party. But the music is so enthralling and rooving that it is ideally inevitable not to compliment it with a drink.
- There are also artisanal from various parts of Europe selling their own distinctive and unique product collection. Since the retailers are there only for a specific period, it is not a bad idea to bargain and get the best affordable rates for these genuine products. It is a delight to experience a different culture, feel, understand and buy it.
- The rides- they are enormous, scaring yet all daring. Sky Wheel is definitely one of the attractions and the highlight of the festival, but the list does not end here. There are roller coasters, horror mansions, 360 degree revolving twisters, rotating boulders—all with just one goal: Dare, Scream and Engross. They are the perfect jesters for adrenaline junkies and an amusement for rest of the audience.
- There are also couple of rides and playing booths specially designed only for the kids.
What is ‘Fireworks Show’ at Fêtes de Genève
The major attraction for the fest remains the fireworks show that happens on the second last day of the fest. It starts from 10 pm and lasts for an hour. Free and paid sitting is available to experience this spectacular display of light and music show.
Fêtes de Genève hosts one of the best fireworks show in Europe that never fails to impress and induce. Marking a territory of unbeatable brilliance, the show traverses the tangents of light and enlightenment as the little shots of sparkles burst in the sky. An hour of ebullience with the full thrust of pomp and splendour leaves all in admiration and wonderment. To add more to the glee, the fireworks show is synchronised with the music and the whole ambience is drenched in a harmonious illumination celebrating the spirit of summer and the city.
Free sitting for Fireworks Show
As the entry to the festival is free, so is the entry to the Fireworks Show. But with every gain, there is a pain. The whole of Geneva and tourists are excited about the fireworks and therefore look out for the best spots to witness the same. People start gathering near the spots from 5 pm onwards in the evening, thus, leaving only few best spots for the others to grab during the actual show.
But it’s never too late to try for an idea of a picnic. Grab the carpets, get pampered with good food, drinks and music around and wait for the ultimate countdown- the Fireworks Show.
Buying Tickets for Fireworks Show
Tickets can be bought for 3 locations both online and offline.
The locations are:
- Pont du Mont-Blanc
- Jardin Anglais (English Garden)
- Gustave-Ador wharf in the Zone des Artificiers
The best view is from Pont du Mont-Blanc (Mont-Blanc bridge), because the show is happening right in front of the bridge. Also, the seats are arranged like a stadium (stair way). The other two areas have the seats arranged in a platform style, which means at the bridge one would definitely have an uninterrupted vision, whereas at the other two places there could be people in front. Having said that, all these 3 locations definitely promise an experiential view of the show.
The prices range from 60 CHF to 110 CHF as per the category, supplier and offers by specific sponsors.
Places to buy tickets offline:
- There are Fnac booths that are given certain seats and offer 5 CHF discount to Fnac members, but others can also buy tickets from them.
- There are also ticket corners around the city from tickets can be purchased. They could be viewed here.
- At Geneva Tourism, Rue du Mont-Blanc 18.
To buy tickets online:
- Lebara happens to be the official sponsor of the festival for the year 2017 and hence is offering 20% discount on selected category to its sim-card holders. lebara.ch/fdg
Follow me on instagram @littlejoysandmore to experience the Fireworks Show from Pont du Mont-Blanc. Live recording and pictures will be posted.