Experiences and Program

Festival de la Cité is looking forward to entertaining you, from Tuesday, July 6th until Sunday, July 11, 2021!

The full program will be released early June. In the meantime, one venue and its characteristic ambiance will be unveiled weekly, so stay tuned!

(The Little Canyon)
Open air in the City

It is like a fissure in bedrock. Between two steep walls, there is a stage for open air concerts. There will also be projections of short animated films, as well as a vinyl boutique managed by the gang at Hummus Records. It’s a spot where one can gleefully peruse used vinyls and chat with the shopkeepers about music. It’s a good spot to come to if you’re looking for a good vibe and vibrant music, all while having a few drinks and some food on the go.

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud

(The Escapades)
Sunny getaways & cuisine from the future

Come lunch and dinner time, the Cantine de Sauvabelin is transformed into a restaurant from the future. Paralax Cantine is an installation by artists Hugo Avigo and Zoe Lockard aiming to explore what the Earth could be like in 2100. Guests are encouraged to imagine and savour the world of tomorrow through cuisine imagined by Walter el Nagar. Before his toque arrived at its current location in Geneva, the progressive Italo-Egyptian chef’s cuisine travelled from Los Angeles to Singapore. Although he is an extreme fan of local products, he is non-committal to any type of tradition. He is definitely someone who doesn't hesitate to break the moulds!

On weekends starting early in the day, this is the place to go on artistic excursions. Discover theatre, circus, contemporary dance, puppetry and concerts in unexpected places: Sauvabelin forest, the clearing at L’Hermitage museum, the Signal Garden, the Sauvabelin tower, the Magasins de la Ville… Starting from 11 AM all the way to nighttime, there will be shows available every hour!

These are definely sweet escapes between two different sites. For food and drink, there is lunchtime gastronomy available in Cantine de Sauvabelin. If you prefer, you can buy carnivorous and vegetarian skewers from the bar and barbecue them yourself on the Tridel clearing. It’s like a good old field trip!

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud

(The Orchard at L'Hermitage)
Concerts, a "fictitious" talk show and regional cuisine

La Cité is having its own talk show! Every day at 5 PM, come partake in a daily live show at the orchard surrounding L’Hermitage museum. Filmed and broadcasted by the network La Télé Vaud-Fribourg, the show’s programme will highlight artists, fiction, discussion and showcases, all under the masterful and playful hosting style of comedian and stage director Florence Minder.

Later on, as the sun sets and the wind (or is it the music?) makes the leaves rustle, go sit on the grass under a fruit tree and enjoy a musical programme from all over. You can also take some time to savor a delicious, full-course dinner paired with a beautiful wine selection. How’s that for relaxation and a good time?

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud

(La Cité, Aloft)
When a historical area and a contemporary creation come together

Just imagine the setting: a neighborhood steeped in history, Saint-Maire Castle, a square… and in the middle of it all, a green oasis, contemporary performances, a sound system and food that brings countryside flavor to the city. La cité, aloft is all that. Three floors, three worlds. It feels a bit like Ibiza (umm…)

On Place du Château (Castle Square), the Garden of Time is an installation designed by Nadia Lauro. Inspired by sci-fi author J.G. Ballard’s Garden of Time, it is a green space that will host performances, dance acts or concerts, each in front of a totally immersed audience. This garden navigates within an imaginarium that hints at how listlessness can be an act of dissidence. Can you picture it, the change of scenery?

When you climb up the few steps leading to the plaza, you will come across Grégoire Jeauffre and his selection of local delicacies from our own countryside. As for the bar, architect Laurent Chassot designed a space that is both attractive and effective at keeping you properly topped up.

Finally, Sacrée Déter will set up their soundsystem just a bit lower down on Placette Bonnard (Bonnard Plaza) and its stunning view of the city. It is the ideal spot to chill after work and dance the night away to the beat of the Lausanne collective’s DJ sets and live mixes.

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud

(The Clearing)
Antique vibes and open grill

The Festival’s emblematic structure Les Marches (The Steps), often located on Bessières bridge (and in the Vallon wasteland last year), will transform the clearing near Tridel into an ancient theatre. With the forest as its backdrop while having the city behind it, The Steps will face an immense barren plateau and come to life with theatre, dance, circuses and concerts. A few steps away, the Tridel factory will also open its doors to artistic productions, both musical and circus acts. Surprise!

What about food? Don’t worry, there will be a 25-meter long barbecue at your disposal!  At the bar, you can get skewers to grill for either carnivores or vegetarians. DIY, as they say. Well, at least it’s not that much effort...

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud

Home sweet home

It is the historical landmark, the postcard site, the festive go-to spot. We gravitate to it almost on autopilot to spontaneously meet friends or long-term acquaintances. You can find the finest street theater and shows for young folks towards the north side of the cathedral, whereas the south side is the starting point of a monstrous travelling show. Inside the cathedral is THE place to appreciate classical music or contemporary dance in absolute serenity. Just outside on public square, there’s plenty to take in - literally - with food, drinks and a killer view to boot!

(The St-Maur Circle)
A whole other world, cozy and brimming with life

Just beside the cathedral, under the trees of St-Maur Square, you will find a vibe that is both intimate and electric. The stage, custom-designed by Leopold Banchini, has a rounded shape and a hint of modernism. When the curtains are drawn, you feel closer to the performers. When there is no act, opening the curtains transforms the site’s green-painted seats back into public benches. Given carte blanche with their setlist, it is the ideal location for the Ensemble Rue du Nord. The group is camping there all week. There will be theatre too, as well as dance and wonderful productions for kids and teens. For those who are thirsty, there will be a bar just a few steps away on Rose Square.

© Kim Seob Boninsegni & Hugo Baud