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Financial troubles put future of Geneva festival in doubt

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Photo: Geneva Tourism
10:33 CET+01:00
It's one of the biggest annual festivals in Switzerland: the Fêtes de Genève is held each August by the lake, culminating in a huge fireworks display. But major financial losses for the second year in a row mean it might not run in the same form – if at all – in 2018.
Speaking on Monday, tourism executive Yves Menoud told the press that a festival like the one held this year will be “clearly impossible” to stage in 2018, reported Le Matin
 
This year’s festival left organizers in the red by 3.2 million francs, less than the 6 million franc debt of 2016 but still far more than the 500,000 franc loss predicted.
 
Consequently organizers have no more reserves to put towards 2018’s summer festival, which therefore must not make a loss. 
 
Currently, the only thing announced for 2018 is the giant ferris wheel in the Jardin Anglais, said the paper.
 
Even the fireworks display may not take place. 
 
“We intend to examine certain avenues from now until the beginning of February. But it may be that we can only have the big wheel and a small version of the festival,” said Menoud.
 
A short timeframe for organizing the 2017 edition and the increased cost of security measures were partly to blame, according to Geneva Tourism. 
 
An internal investigation also revealed some inefficiencies, said the paper, but no embezzlement was uncovered. 
 
The head of Geneva Tourism, Philippe Vignon, and chief festival organizer Christian Kupferschmid are no longer in their posts as a result.
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