L’Elastique Citrique tours lakeside aboard ancient sailing boat next week- daily shows in ports.


“Famille de cirque” performing last year at Paléo

A year after performing at Paleo, L’Elastique Citrique, Nyon’s circus school will be going on tour next week down the Vaud lakeside. The circus troupe, made of about 20 artists who train at the circus school several times a week will be on tour for a week, but there’s a twist: they’ll be touring aboard a boat!

La Demoiselle is a replica of an old sailing ship that used to transport rocks from quarries on the lake during the 19th century. There are for ships of her kind sailing on Lake Leman, including the Neptune in Geneva. The boat is run by an association called “La barque des enfants”, and it is used for pedagogical outings and camps on the lake. La Demoiselle was built over 15 years in Montreux and Villeneuve by workers on the dole, and is now used by schools and groups. As the association has quite strong social values, the boat is offered to associations and groups for half the price it actually costs to sail her for a week (which is 10 000 francs!), and they make the missing money by also renting the ship out for private venues and corporate outings.

The ship itself is 30 meters long, weighs 75 tons, and has two large Latin sails. It is fully equipped with a kitchen, toilets and 24 beds.

shipcirque 2

Courtesy- Samuel Schlapbach


You may have seen the artists from L’Elastique Citrique at Paléo last year, clad in red, or performing in the streets of Nyon for Vision du Réel. This is part of their new project, “Famille de Cirque”, which is a much lighter project than past shows, and involves a lot of improvising and street theatre. For the tour, they have created a 40 minute show which they will play in the ports they land in along the lake. Using very little material (a large red circle, some juggling balls and two unicycles), they will offer a 360° show to the people come to see them. In the spirit of street performances, the show will be free, and the audience will be able show their appreciation of the show by slipping a few notes in the hats passed round at the end of the show. The show, called “La Vie en Rouge” [life in red, a pun on “La vie en Rose”, by Edith Piaf] will be all about relationships and passion. Why red, might you ask? Well, it’s the colour often associated to circus, and to different passionate feelings like love, anger… It is a recurring colour for L’Elastique Citrique.

cirqueship 1

Courtesy- Samuel Schlapbach


The tour will start on Sunday across the lake in France, in the private settlement of Port Ripaille, on the 14th of July. La Demoiselle will then slowly make her way down to Nyon via La Tour de Peilz, Morges, St-Prex, and Geneva. You can find all the informations about the tour (dates, locations and time of the shows) below. Nyon Région TV, Nyon’s local television chain has done a video on the tour, which you can watch here. (first five minutes)

You can come and see L’Elastique Citrique on the following dates:

15th July  – La Tour-de-Peilz – 20h30 at theBains-des-Dames
16th July – Morges – 20h30 at the Port du Petit-Bois
17th July – St-Prex – 17h et 20h30 at the  Place d’Armes
19th July – Genève – 20h30 near the Jet d’eau opposite the Pierres du Niton
20th July – Nyon – 17h and 20h30 near the crane (east side of Rive)

More music this weekend. Photo opportunities at at the Bol d’Or.

Bol D'Or - A

Although the Caribana festival finished last week, there is more music on the way as the first part of La Fete de la Musique will take part in Nyon on Saturday 15th June and on Sunday 16th in Prangins (part 2 will be next weekend).

Fete de la musique 2013

There’s a full programme of music on the agenda, bands and solo artists will be play in different venues around Nyon in the Place du Chateau, Place St Martin, Place de Savoie, Jardin du Conservatoire, Usine a Gaz, Rive Est and in the Temple. There will be music ranging from jazz to blues, rock , classical music, African music, funk and more. Something for everyone. Click here for the full programme and timings.  There’s a fantastic weather forecast for this week-end which is good news for those attending and for those playing in the festival!

Great photo opportunities at the Bol d’Or

The good weather is also good news for sailors who will be taking part in the 75th Bol d’Or. This famous sailing competition sets off at 10:00 from Geneva. Depending on the winds you can often see the boats sailing past Nyon around lunchtime on their way to Le Bouveret at the other end of the lake, it’s an impressive sight! There is a good overview here of the race, the trajectory the boats take on the water, and links to other information about the race itself. If you are really keen to capture more of the atmosphere of the race itself, it’s worth getting up very early and heading off to Geneva to be there at the start of it all (see photo below).

Start of Bol D'or

There are excellent views to be had of the early part of the race from the port of Corsier on the French side of the lake. This Living in Nyon photo in the header above was taken a few years ago from Corsier (and was used on the Bol d’ Or website).

Interview with Tony Lerch, director of Caribana – Giving a warm welcome to musicians and music lovers

On Wednesday 5th June, the lake side around Crans près Céligny will be rocking to the sound of Motor Head and Skunk Anansie, two of the headline acts playing on the first night at the 2013 Caribana festival.

skunk_anansie 1

Photo above: Skunk Anansie  – courtesy Caribana Festival

This festival first began 23 years ago when a group of friends headed by Tony Lerch  (now director of the festival) organised a small  musical event at the port of Crans. That first free event  focussed on tropical and Caribbean music, since then the festival has evolved into one of the festivals in Swiss Romandie playing a variety of genres of music from rock, to reggae, folk, indie soul, grunge, blues and more.

Living in Nyon spoke to Tony Lerch  to find out how the festival manages to attract the major names in the rock and pop industry to play at the lake side venue.

Caribana Festival 2010Nyon / Switzerland09.06.2010Photo Alain Grosclaude

 Photo above: Tony Lerch – Director of Caribana Music Festival

A “Welcome Programme”  from sailing to wine tasting – A mini-holiday for the artistes

“Having a stunning setting helps. It’s pretty special, the artists love it. We also give them the opportunity to discover more of the area before they go on stage.  The bands and singers receive a “Welcome Programme” when they arrive here with a list of activities available to them. We offer a sailing trip on the lake, that in itself is beautiful. We sail past some interesting sights on the way, we point out the UEFA building, Michael Schumacher’s house, the Chateau of Prangins, Ernesto Bertorelli’s house (the 2003 America’s Cup winner). Not only is a boat trip impressive but with the backdrop of the Alps and Mont Blanc behind them, it’s a pretty cool way to warm up the artists before they go on stage! If they don’t want to go sailing, they are given the option of cycling or walking in the vineyards with a chance to visit a local wine cellar. The only thing we ask them not to do is to participate in any risky sports, or swim too long in the lake and catch cold. We want them to stay safe be in good shape to play on the stage that night.

Bike day, lake pics and inaug of Niedermeyer 025

 Jim Kerr and filets de perche

I think the artists love it, it’s a sort of mini-holiday for them because although it’s a big named festival, it still remains very intimate. They can walk along the side of the lake and mix with the public if they want to. There was an occasion a few years ago when Jim Kerr of “Simple Minds” chose not to eat at the artiste’s restaurant but to wander down to the port and have “filets de perches” there. Brian Ferry came back to visit and ate at a restaurant that he remembered when he played here.

Caribana 2011 Ist night Crowd

Photo above: First night at Caribana 2011 – C. Nelson-Pollard

Having said that our very position right next to the lake means that it’s not that easy for the roadies. We have a bizarre shaped ground for a festival, and it’s not ideal for shifting stuff around. In addition it’s a very narrow path to carry gear down from the trucks to the stage, and the roadies have to carry and transport everything by hand. These days most rock festivals have automatic loading equipment. Some of the bands comment on this and say it’s like playing at rock festival from many years ago. Although it obviously makes it tricky for logistical purposes, it also add to the atmosphere, everyone lends a hand to get the show on stage.

Imagine Dragons to play – Robbie Williams, the one that got away.

In addition to the setting, word of mouth helps to attract some of the big named bands: they hear about its reputation and want to come along. We are proud that we often identify bands at the start of their career just before they take off and we manage to book them early on. We are really pleased that  “Imagine Dragons” are playing with us on Saturday night this year – they have recently become a huge hit.  There have been musicians that we identified and we booked early on that became so massive in the following months they simply became too expensive for us to take. A case in point is Robbie Williams, we booked him in October 1997 for the following year’s Caribana. He then released  “Angels” which went on to become massive, his album skyrocketed and he was in great demand. We could no longer afford him which was a great shame.  It was the same kind of story with “The Corrs”.

Having said that, there have been quite a few names who have played here first as a relatively unknown on one of the smaller stages and they went on to  do bigger things, such as Faceless, Charlie Winston, and Nelly Furtado who we did book early on in their careers. The bands and artists on the smaller stages here at Caribana are always definitely worth going to see – they too may go on to greater success and you will have had the chance to see them close up at Caribana.

32,000 spectators in 2010

As to Tony Lerch’s own favourite type of music? “Well it’s no secret  that I am a big fan of  The Police, and I really like reggae, but I’m interested in all kinds of music. We have had some great nights with big and small artists over the past 20 or so years. We peaked at 32,000 spectators back in 2010 and since then have levelled out at around 30,000. The financial crisis has affected us and other festivals a bit, tickets aren’t selling as fast as they used to. All festival organisers are finding times as bit tougher. I think there are many, many festivals over Switzerland over the summer so competition is keen between us all, but conversely this means it’s good for the general public. They get to have a big choice of where they can go and spend their money.   I am glad they are still choosing Caribana!

Caribana 3rd night 2011 Plan B 3

Photo above: Caribana 2012  – C. Nelson-Pollard

Volunteers welcome!

Like many festivals in Switzerland, Caribana depends on the good will and enthusiasm of its volunteers on site and on the committee which works throughout the year  to help run such a big event. “There isn’t anyone on the committee who is paid to do the job including me – we all do it for the love of the festival. We value our volunteers enormously, it’s getting a little bit harder to take on young volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 due to new laws that have been implemented in Switzerland, but if anyone is interested in volunteering on site here, even if their French isn’t that great, we will happily consider them for a future festival.

Putting the area on the map

Back when we first started the festival, very few people used to know about the grounds that we use here at Caribana, just  the local residents – now we have really put it on  the map. We also keep evolving: this year the Sunday is for teenagers, with “Caribateens” . We saw that other towns were offering events for teenagers but there wasn’t much in this area, so we came up with the idea of a day dedicated to them.  This year we have other changes on the grounds for the public: there will be steps down onto the beachside, and there’s more. We look  forward to another good year and thankfully the weather is  now improving and looking very promising for another great festival.

At the time of publishing there were still tickets available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Saturday is sold out). Click here for more info. if you are not able to go, Living in Nyon will be reporting from the festival each day, on the bands, the new changes on the site, the atmosphere, and of course, the music!

Caribana 2012 dancing festival goers

 Photo above: Party Time at Caribana 2012 – C. Nelson-Pollard

This Sunday – Spectacular Naval Parade in Nyon, La Côte English speaking church holds service in centre of Nyon

Each year, different towns up and down the Swiss side of lac léman take it in turns to hold a big naval parade involving all the beautiful CGN Belle-Epoque/ Paddle Steamer boats. This year on Sunday 19th May it’s the turn of Nyon to host the parade!

Close up balloons

The day will begin at 10:00 when passengers can embark on boats from Lausanne, St Sulpice,  Morges, St- Prex, Geneva, Versoix, Coppet and Céligny. Some of the boats will be serving meals on board, (reservations are highly recommended for these particular cruises).

En Mai etc and Naval parade Rolle 2011 A

 Embarking from Nyon is at 12:45, 12:55, 13:00 and 13:10. The “fanfare” (brass band) of Nyon will play down at the embarkment area. Note: this parade is a popular event so get there early to ensure a place!  Between 13:30 and 15:00 the naval parade begins in a grand choreography of boats on the water ending with with the releasing of 2,000 (bi degradable) balloons into the air.  The parade will be visible from the quayside from approx 14:15. There will be lots of activities going on by the lake side, stalls, entertainment for the family and children.

See photos from a previous’ years parade.

En Mai etc and Naval parade Rolle 2011 108

Free Museum entry all day!

Also on Sunday 19th as part of this special day, entry to  the Musée du Léman the Musée romain, the Château of Nyon and the Musée national suisse and the Château de Prangins) is all free!

Note: the Muséée du Léman has recently been renovated and reopened in March. If you want to find out more about lac léman,  see inside a submarine (which at one stage actually gave tourist trips to the bottom of the lake!) or you want to find out about the amazing adventures of  Jacques and Auguste Piccard, then this museum is a must!  You can also find out about the lake’s, flora and fauna and marine life.  Also on Sunday, cultural walks are being offered along the side of the lake.  For full details see here for details of the parade. Here for details of the Musée du Léman.

English Language Church service  at 16:00 in Nyon.  

La Côte Church an English speaking Anglican church normally hold their weekly Sunday services in the village of Gingins near Nyon, however this Sunday, they will be holding a special Pentecost service in the temple of Nyon in the old town. A warm welcome  will be given to newcomers  of all ages. Refreshments will be served after the service. For full details see here

Church flyer FINAL


“Living along Lac Léman” book is now for sale! – The perfect gift for everyone.

Tuesday evening in Nyon saw the official launch of  the book “Living along Lac Léman”. Thankyou so much to all those who came to the Villa Thomas at the COV for the vernissage/launch.

Photos above. Happy book fans!

The venue in the stunning lake side setting made it the perfect place to launch the book. It also gave readers of this site,  La Côte newspaper, and other members of the public a chance to mingle and enjoy a glass of local Swiss wine, along with tasting some British cheeese from the British Cheese Centre of Switzerland. 

Photo above: the Villa Thomas along the lake side. Note – there will be a jazz concert at the Villa Thomas on Friday 7th Oct see COV for here for full details

There were also representatives at the event from the various local festivals (Paléo, Caribana, Visions du Réel etc),  from Nyon town council and Nyon tourism giving those there the opportunity to find out more about the three festivals and local issues.

Photo above – Checking out the book at the vernissage

About the book –  The perfect company gift, birthday or Christmas present.

Packed with columns articles and photos the book is is a light hearted look at life along the shores of lake Geneva and contains a selection of columns which have been published for the last two years in English every Friday in La Côte newspaper.  This weekly column is a conversation is about the people, places and events in Vaud as seen through the eyes of a British expatriate.

Photo above: left C. Nelson-Pollard author of “Living along Lac Léman”, right Contessa Pinon – editor of La Côte newspaper

With observations on unusual Swiss customs and on the peculiarities to be found in both the French and English languages, it also comments on other subjects such as the jargon that estate agents use when advertising houses for sale, the difficulties of making a fondue, or trying to say a telephone number in French.

Image above – article from book called  “Figuring it out”

With other articles on local festivals, the Désalpe and more, and packed with photos that capture the colour and essence of the Léman region, the book makes a perfect gift for someone who has just moved to the area. It  will also delight those who have lived here for a while, whether expat of Swiss, in recognising  the slightly side quirky side of Swiss life whilst acknowledging the beauty of the Léman area.

Image below – Article from book called “A saisir!” (on estate agents’ jargon)

At just 29 CHF, the book is available to order through this site, just click on “Living in Nyon” book on the top side bar to order.  Free delivery in the Nyon, Coppet, Rolle and Prangins area.  

From  Tuesday 11th October, the book will also be for sale at Nyon tourist office  Opening hours  Monday-Friday 08:30 -12:30/ 13:30 -17:30

Special book signing – The author will be signing copies of the book at Nyon tourist office on Friday November 4th from 16:00- 18:00.  An ideal opportunity to pick up a copy and find out about events and winter activities happening in the Nyon and St Cergue region.

Photo above and below – Selling the books left to right. Anna Hiller Bedlington, Suzy Nelson-Pollard, Nicola Bedlington.

All photos of the vernissage –  Catherine Lewis photography see site here