This is not a surprise to any inhabitant of Zug and its surroundings: something big is coming to town and will pretty much rule the entire city from Friday 23 August until Sunday 25th:
Zug is the official host of the 2019 Eidgenössische Schwing- und Älplerfest (ESAF 2019), probably the greatest events of the year in the canton.
While it is hard to really describe such a local, Swiss tradition (Wikipedia will only provide details in German, French, Swiss-German and Dutch), one could summarize the program around Swiss national sports or national games such as wrestling, hornussen and stone kicking with wrestling being the main sport and attraction of the weekend.
I can however surely tell you about the hipe around it, as it has been under preparation for the past 9 months in our neighbourhood, and the event site is expecting to welcome between 250,000 up to 500,000 visitors.
Tickets to sit on the tribunes have been sold out for months and the program is expected to start as early as 5.30 each morning, but the party does not limit itself to sports as there will also be stands, restaurants, concerts, parties, camping grounds and agricultural exhibitations around the entire place.
One thing that has been very exciting to discover, and for which you can find an entire page on the official webite, is the following:
the event has made Sustainability one of its key pillars, and is showcasing all initiatives that are contributing to making ESAF 2019 climate neutral, amongst others:
ESAF 2019 is supported by the myclimate foundation, which with its climate protection initiative "Cause We Care", gives ESAF visitors the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to climate protection;
for the first time, a "sustainability pot" has been set up and used for CO2 compensation measures as well as for regional sustainability campaigns. Visitors, the organization committee and sponsors can make a contribution and promoting local, regional and international climate protection measures;
the 2019 ESAF will serve as CO2 benchmark for the future comparable events;
the event will not provide a detailed visitors' guide, contributing to saving 18 tons of paper;
sponsors have been asked to contribute to the "sustainability pot", and provide eco-friendly samples;
ESAF has committed itself to return the used soil to agriculture after the festival is over;
ESAF 2019 strives to recycle as many materials as possible, such as sawdust or advertising material.
Visitors of the site are also strongly invited to contribute the following ways:
favour public transports (the site is especially well connected) or cycling to attend;
recycle properly on the site, do not litter waste;
take part in the drinks' deposit system, and donate this share of your entertainement to local volunteers or associations;
when shopping online on the official ESAF website, an extra contribution to myclimate is possible;
aspects such as parking tickets or food that can be bought onsite already include a contribution to the sustainability budget.
Andreas Lustenberger, Head of the ESAF Sustainability Unit, is also a local face of the green political scene of Stadt and Kanton Zug. No wonder this agenda has been pushed forward.
So who has found tickets and who will join the party?!
Pics/ ESAF 2019