GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Geneva Festival was a great success in 2011, pulling in more than 500,000 visitors for the Saturday night fireworks alone, says the city’s tourism office, but the downside was that the number of thefts and amount of vandalism rose. Overall, some 1.8 million visitors took part in the 10 days of festivities 4-14 August, which featured 200 free concerts, 170 food and drink stands and 75 stallholders.
The festivities closed without major incident, says the city, thanks to mediators and “the massive security arrangements deployed involving the cantonal and municipal forces,” says Geneva Tourism in a statement issued Sunday night.
“The Geneva Festival Steering Committee regrets, however, the upsurge in antisocial behaviour leading
to the destruction of infrastructures such as toilets set up for the public convenience, tags and ripping
of tents and the sabotage of generators, not to mention the theft and inconvenience carried out by an
army of pickpockets and bonneteau players. The public, the merchants as well as the guest of honour,
were all victims of these abuses. As a result, GT&C urges the concerned authorities to carefully take
these issues into consideration in order to put an end to this nuisance particularly harmful to the image
of the Geneva Festival and Geneva itself.”