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Events and festivals

Below is a complete list of Geneva’s biggest and best annual events and festivals.

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Antigel Festival
Location: the whole canton of Geneva
Dates: usually first 2 weeks of February
Web/email: www.antigel.ch

Music, dance and special events. Trying to use venues not so typical and usual for events like dance performance and music. Such as roller skate party inside of the tunel or dancing in the hall of the airport. They did and airplaine show above the lake for an opening. The actual programme of the festival is unique and changes every year.

Geneva Winter Carnival
Location: Various
Dates: 17-19 February, doesn't take place anymore, finished in 2008
Web/email: www.carnaval-geneve.ch

A wonderful event for children or just the young at heart, the winter carnival is an ancient masquerade festival that celebrates the dying of winter and the coming of spring. Mask making and general merriment is the order of the first two days leading up to the climax of the festival: a massive carnival procession starting from the Bridge of Bergues at 14:30 and carrying on through the streets until the stroke of midnight when the revelers howl a collective final great goodbye to winter.

International Motor Show
Location: Palexpo Exhibition Center
Dates: 3-11 March
Web/email: www.salon-auto.ch

The Geneva Motor show is the largest international show in Europe and arguably the most important motor show in the world. Many new prototypes and innovations are unveiled during the week and the atmosphere is electric with lots of freebees and plenty of flare to go around. Classic favorites from almost every manufacturer in the world are also on display throughout the huge show room.

International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products
Location: Palexpo Exhibition Center
Dates: 6-10 April
Web/email: www.inventions-geneva.ch
Admission: SFr. 12

The largest event of its kind, Geneva’s International Exhibition of Inventions features over one thousand new innovations and inventions from around the world. This is where the public and commercial investors alike come to discover the future with inventions from every field from computer science to plumbing to toys and games.

Electron Festival
Location: L'Usine (ZOO & REZ rooms, Spotnik, Makhno), Palladium, Fonderie Kugler, La Gravière, Silencio, Weetamix, Le Commun.
Dates: 17-20 April 2014 (Easter weekend)
Web/email: www.electronfestival.ch

The biggest electronic festival in Switzerland, well known in Europe as well.

 

Fete De La Musique
Location: Various
Dates: 20-22 June (2014)
Web/email: www.fetedelamusique.ch

Geneva’s largest music festival features over 100 acts on display at more than 30 different outdoor venues spread throughout the city. There is something for everyone from jazz to reggae to trip-hop with a wide variety of food stalls to match. Most of the concerts are free of charge so you can dance your way through the streets from dust until dawn and beyond.

Lake Sailing Regatta
Location: Lake Geneva
Dates: 12-13 June
Web/email: www.boldor.ch

The Rolex Bol d’Or is Europe’s largest and most important sailing regatta with over 500 boats in competition annually. Hosted by the Societe Nautique de Geneve, the regatta has received increased attention on the world stage since the Swiss team Alinghi took the America’s cup in 2004.

Montreux Jazz Festival
Location: Montreux
Dates: 1-16 July
Web/email: www.montreuxjazz.ch

The Montreux Jazz festival was founded in 1967 and has been a European mainstay ever since, bringing an eclectic mix of artists year after year. There are free concerts and jam sessions along the lake every night and the intimate paid venues offer concertgoers a unique up-close experience with some of the world’s biggest names.

American Independence Day
Location: Boutde-Monde Stadium
Dates: 4 July
Web/email: www.amclub.ch

Organized by the American International Club of Geneva, the event features the largest American Independence Day fireworks display outside of the United States. Live music and shows for children are organized throughout the day at the Centre Sportif du Bout du Monde.

Fetes De Geneve
Location: Various
Dates: 04-14 August
Web/email: www.fetesdegeneve.ch

The Fetes De Geneve is the highlight of the summer and draws over 2 million visitors annually. For ten days the party boogies on along the shores of Lake Geneva with carnival rides, concerts, food stalls, variety shows and parades. The evenings are capped off with a fireworks show sponsored by a different firework company each night. The finale of the festival is the sensational Techno Parade where each float is a rave on wheels complete with costumed dancers and pumping beats that always get the crowd going.

Festival De La Batie
Location: Batie Park
Dates: 1-17 September
Web/email: www.batie.ch

This outdoor festival is a multi-media event designed to fuse and foster the collective creative impulses of artists from throughout France and Switzerland. Concerts, art shows, theater events and other performances are featured throughout the duration of the festival, as well as workshops, seminars and discussions designed to raise consciousness about the role of art in society. If you like hippies and communing with nature, this is the place for you.

Christmas Festival
Location: Various
Dates: November - December through January

Christmas is a special time when Geneva goes all out to bring some good old fashioned Christmas cheer to the city to help chase away the winter blahs. The International Christmas Market at Fusterie Square features hand made folk arts and crafts from throughout Switzerland as well as numerous food stalls, all housed in quaint miniature wooden chalets along the main shopping street. Free Open Air Skating is available at Place du Rhone with skate rentals for SFr. 6 for adults and SFr. 3 for children. The annual Christmas Tree Festival is a unique event presenting an array of trees and sculptures designed by renowned international artists on display throughout the city (see www.festivalarbresetlumieres.ch for more details). Finally, for the very adventurous, there is the annual Christmas Swimming Cup. The mid-December event draws over 600 swimmers who brave the icy waters to race from the Jardin Anglais to the Quai General Guisan.

L’Escalade
Location: The Old Town
Dates: 3-11 December
Web/email: www.compagniede1602.ch

L’Escalade commemorates the successful defense of the city against invasion in 1602 when the people of Geneva rallied to repel the Duke of Savoy and his mercenary horde. The festivities kick off on Sunday with a 5 mile race through the Old Town (see www.escalade.ch/en/home.php for details) and culminate the following weekend with a torchlight procession of over 1000 marchers dressed in period costumes through the city to the steps of Saint Peter’s Cathedral. The week between features exhibitions, concerts and shows celebrating different aspect of Geneva’s most triumphant victory.

Websites:
Ladecadanse - Cultural Agenda - Alternative Music, Exhibitions, Cinema events.

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