With the celebration over, attention has shifted to the cost of the Fête des vignerons, Vevey’s once-in-25-year winegrowers festival.
As the bills come in it looks like the festival will make a loss of CHF 16 million, according to the François Margot, who was interviewed by the newspaper 24 heures.
Fête des Vignerons: “Le manque à gagner sur les spectacles de jour est de 16 millions.”https://t.co/ww5AqMcl7E— 24heures (@24heuresch) September 14, 2019
Margot, who heads the organisation behind the event, said that it was too soon to calculate the final result. Some bills, such as the one for dismantling the stadium remain open and the income from partners, sponsors and individuals has not been finalised.
Costs are now estimated to be 5% to 10% over the CHF 100 million budget.
In addition, revenue is expected to be lower than forecast. 65,000 seats went unsold, according to Le Matin. Some blame high ticket prices, which went as high as CHF 250, for the large number of unsold seats.
However, even the combination of an across-the-board 20% ticket price cut and a full house might not have increased revenue. And a deeper price cut would have probably worsened the loss, given that most seats were sold. Lower spending was probably the only way the show could have ever broken even.
The Confrérie des Vignerons, the wine growers guild behind the privately run event, is heavily financially dependent on the show, which historically brings in 80% of its revenue.
Organizers are working hard to get additional financial support from partners, sponsors and the public. They are also trying to negotiate down the size of some invoices.
Margot told 24 Heures that it would be premature to say whether or not the guild will be able to cover the loss and said that the guild is not at risk at this stage however the figures are concerning.
The guild is auctioning off costumes, furniture, crockery and other items and continues to sell mementos. Click here for more information.