Jodlerfest is a triennial celebration of Swiss Alps culture and that most melodious of Alpine traditions, yodelling.
In June, I tagged along to the 2017 Jodlerfest held in the town of Brig in the canton of Valais (known as Wallis in German) to take in the sights and sounds of this fun event.
Alpenhorns, funny hats, lots of beer and hearty food: Jodlerfest was an amalgam of the many stereotypes one could conjure about Swiss life conveniently all neatly set in an all-in-one stop for everything Alpine. But much more than that for me the festival was an opportunity to realise the depth behind such trappings – especially with respect to yodelling. Beyond its hokey charm, yodelling means continuity of community presenting a tangible expression of Alpine culture and yielding a richly woven aural landscape that’s as overwhelmingly beautiful as the mountains and valleys where it originated.
I was sincerely touched by the music I heard and the dedication of yodelers keeping it alive and vibrant.
Jodlerfest served as catalyst for a press trip tour across the Valais. As part of a small entourage of British and Irish media, I got to visit two of its most scenic areas, Portes du Soleil and Aletsch Arena. I’ll post more about my Jodlerfest experience soon, but before that I would like to share a few highlights of my journey leading up to the festival and speak a bit about the great time I had discovering another gorgeous corner of one of my favourite regions in Europe (the Alps) and countries in the world (Switzerland).
I’ll be back soon with more posts in my Yodel for Valais miniseries. Until then have a look at these handy online resources for planning your trip to the Valais or the 2020 Jodlerfest to be held in Basel.
- Valais/Wallis Tourism: visitvalais.ch
- Portes du Soleil: portesdusoleil.com
- Aletsch Arena: aletscharena.ch
- Brig: brig-simplon.ch
- Jodlerfest Brig 2017: jodlerfest-brig.ch
- Jodlerfest Basel 2020: jodlerfestbasel.ch
- Switzerland Tourism: myswitzerland.com