GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The latest kid on the block to offer information on events in Switzerland is Marcus Berry, who formerly worked for WRG radio in Geneva before it became public radio station WRS, and for Swisster, which closed in December 2010. Berry’s new web site is called Inanyevent and proposes events listings country-wide, funded by advertising.
Berry’s venture joins a mushrooming collection of events listings on English-language sites.
The two most complete were both started nearly five years ago and have grown steadily: the events pages on GenevaLunch and on the AngloInfo site, both of which list regional events for the Lake Geneva area plus Swiss-wide major events of interest to the international population.
Several other sites (see list below), notably Know it All Passports and Leman Events offer a personal selection of what’s on. WRS radio offers a weekly selection and the many business clubs list their own and sometimes other groups’ events.
Relocation agencies and women’s clubs in most cities keep their own events lists and city guides: the quality varies considerably.
Web sites list events as a community service or for commercial reasons because they are “sticky”, with readers returning to a site where they know they can count on finding out what’s on. Returning visitors should hold appeal for advertisers, web business wisdom argues.
Here’s a selection of where to go to find out what’s on, in English, in the Lake Geneva region, but also in the rest of Switzerland. It iincludes only sites that are frequently updated and have a reliable track record, since several sites have started to list events then stopped or they list them erratically.
GenevaLunch volunteer has posted more than 2,500 events!
But first a well-earned word of praise for Laila Rodriguez, who has diligently volunteered for the past three-plus years to put together the GenevaLunch events lists.
Listing what’s on and finding the right balance between an incomplete list or an unwieldy one with some events of very limited appeal is far from an automatic or quick job, as many sites have learned to their dismay.
It takes time and good knowledge of the area covered to filter and get a good mix. Laila finds time every week for this behind-the-scenes unpaid labour of love, providing the international community with a valuable community service.
Next time you check out our events page think of Laila and smile, please, because she’s posted some 2,500 events for you!
Where to find out what’s on, Swiss and Lake Geneva region sites
Official tourism: Most Swiss cities list their own city events in English, useful for an overview (note: GenevaLunch events includes our selections from these) and Geneva-Annecy-Mont Blanc tourism offers events in English from over the border. Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Zurich official pages. One of the best tourism/city guides/what’s on sources of information is the newly re-launched MySwitzerland web site.
Lake Geneva region + main Swiss events, a community service, GenevaLunch events page
Geneva region, business directory + commercial (advertising) featured events, Angloinfo
Personal weekly selection of events in the Lake Geneva region, Know it all Passport
Personal selection plus their own commercial events, Leman Events
Social media: Glocals.com offers a selection of local events posted by its readers, as does the English Forum, and both are Swiss-wide, but Glocals tends to be more active in the Lake Geneva region. The English Forum and its new “local” news site are both run from Sweden and Germany, which limits its value to input from forum members who are in Switzerland.
Mainly for tourists, commercial lists: What’s on When from Frommers
Swissinfo has a good series of videos, including news features about aspects of Swiss life. One that I think works particularly well was posted 8 November and covers an exhibition about Lake Geneva’s old Latin sailboats, which is on in Morges. Reading about the old boats exhibit which runs until 6 December, by the Bolle Foundation, it hadn’t attracted me. The video did the trick.
Barbie falls for Mad Men!
I admit I’m getting confused about reality. I thought Mad Men, the US TV show, was about real life, admittedly an outrageous little patch of it during a certain era. I confess I love the show and can’t wait for season 3 to be available in Switzerland on DVD in another couple weeks. I love the women who think they are Barbie dolls, the silly glitz, the – but wait, now it seems that Barbie has invited Mad Men to be part of her world! Don Draper, with those wonderfully creased suits and some of the dubious people he works with, will be showing up in her dollhouses, complete with their wardrobes.
They will all get along famously, I’m sure – old Barbie standby Ken, Don’s wife Betty, oohlala Joan.
Maybe the overdose of sleeze and glamour will encourage the next generation of women to give up these dollhouse fantasies. But don’t hold your breath, feminists, and please don’t turn over in your grave, Mr Ibsen.
Meanwhile, I’m getting the popcorn ready for the next episode. Now I can fret over which clothes Don will take to Barbie’s house.
Ed. note: all work and no play makes for a dull editor.
The world is a funny inter-connected kind of place when you’re sitting in a small town near Geneva, Switzerland and you see in the Los Angeles Times page for local animal-lovers that a couple of kangaroos have had a gooooood kissing and cuddling session in Basel. Check them out (warning to Australians: you might find them less cute than some of us). Much easier than going to the zoo in Basel in this icy Swiss weather. Clearly, Australian animals win the cutes prizes today.
GenevaLunch covers little celebrity news because we don’t think this is why most of our readers (70,000+ mainly news pages viewed a month) follow us. They’re looking for local or regional news or world news that has an impact on them. And boosting our site traffic with yet more stories about Michael Jackson isn’t part of our business plan.
But two CNN stories today, about two recent actors’ deaths, do give pause and should touch us.
US actress Brittany Murphy’s autopsy results have come out and they show that she suffered from acute pneumonia without being aware of it and died from a combination of drugs that were all legal and were being used mainly to treat common cold and flu symptoms. There’s a warning for all of us in this: get to the doctor early enough and don’t just pile on over-the-counter medications assuming they are safe.
The other death is of 41-year-old actor Andrew Koenig, whose body was just found in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada. His father, also an actor, announced the news. He pleaded with other families not to ignore signs of depression in their family members – and addressed those contemplating suicide, saying “If you’re one of those people who can’t handle it anymore, you know, if you can learn anything from this, there are people out there who really care,” he said. “You may not think so and ultimately it may not be enough, but there are people who really care.”
Shirley Curran, who provides the GenevaLunch Jura ski report every Friday, also writes our Monday book review column. Once in a blue moon she writes about crosswords, a subject on which she is an expert, as the creator of published crosswords. Her most recent column highlights the rarefied (note the spelling, crossword fans!) world of creators of crosswords, pointing to a very special man who has created 3D crosswords. Congratulations to Shirley, whose GenevaLunch post is now one of the first you’ll find if you google “3D crosswords”, because of the interest sparked by what she’s written. Check it out!
Gizmodo shows us Amnesty International’s ad against domestic abuse and it’s a real eye opener, so to speak – but as they point out, a one-off ad campaign in Hamburg, Germany has its limits.
If you’re like me, watching Eurovision this weekend on TV was low on my list of things to do – weather was fine, the garden needed weeding, a boat ride on Lake of the Four Cantons in Lucern beckoned, family had plans – and I’m not a huge Eurovision fan. But if you’re like 100 million Europeans, a number that’s pretty impressive, you made time for it.
I contented myself with reading NPR’s review from the US, which at least made me go watch it on YouTube. And look at those viewing numbers going up and up.
Geneva-based American songwriter and banker Gregg Robins wrote “Morning in America,” an upbeat song about the US after the election of Barack Obama. It’s making the rounds in Geneva and elsewhere. Check it out!
Check out the gastronomy event details on our events page. Note that Geneve Saveurs is this weekend, 28 February and 1 March.
We’ve agreed, for the first time, to give away 50 tickets to an event – all you have to do is ask for them. Value CHF20.
We’d love to hear from you to know if you think we should do more of this.