This is a heads-up for anyone planning to be in Interlaken between 26 August and 3 September 2017.
There will be a traditional costume and alpine herdsmen’s festival on there, that only happens every 11-12 years, and very large crowds are expected, both in Interlaken, and on the trains to and from Interlaken. The festival is called "Unspunnenfest Interlaken".
The SBB is putting on some extra trains, and is advising festival-goers to get to Interlaken via Bern instead of via Luzern, as the trains via Bern have more capacity.
If anyone is hoping to travel on the Golden Pass route from Luzern to Interlaken Ost during those dates, particularly on Friday afternoons or on the weekends, it looks like it would be a good idea to make a reservation as soon as possible, and perhaps to travel first class. Long queues are expected at the ticket machines in Interlaken, so the SBB is advising people to buy their tickets in advance.
Festival-goers will get free use of the buses in Interlaken, a discounted fare to Schynige Platte, and discounted entry to Ballenberg Open Air Museum, so it would not surprise me if those attractions were pretty crowded during the festival, especially on weekends.
As for the festival itself, tickets are needed for most events. However, there are a few events and activities that are free.
One is the Grand Parade on Sunday 3 September from 10:00 to 12:00. It will proceed from Interlaken West railway station, down Bahnhofstrasse and Höheweg, and towards Interlaken Ost railway station, and will feature floats and groups wearing traditional costumes from all over Switzerland.
There will also be a precinct in the festival grounds in Höheweg called "Schweizerplatz", and events there are apparently free.
Here are some links with information about the festival:
Opening ceremony 26 August
Traditional Swiss wrestling event 27 August
Weekday program 28-31 August
2nd weekend program 1-3 September
www.unspunnenfest.ch/e n/karte-unspunnenfest/festival -information/festival-tickets-passes-individual-tickets/tickets-for-visitors.html
Map of the festival site on the Höhematte, a large grassy park on the Höheweg, the main road through Interlaken
files.pxlpartner.ch.s3 -eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/250008 883?CFID=f46fcc72-7484-44cb-b4f0-bb5796d18637&CFTOKEN=0
I'm not in a position to answer detailed questions about the festival, so I suggest anyone who needs more information should browse the Unspunnenfest website or contact Tourist Information in Interlaken:
www.interlaken.ch/en/e nterprise-offices-tourist-information/interlaken -tourismus-organization.html