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After 27 years, the sun sets on McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival

By Wednesday 16 October 2019No Comments

The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival has been held for the last time.

The McLaren Vale Grape Wine Tourism Association (MVGTWA) released the following statement today…

“The MVGTWA recognises that in-region events form a key component of successful destination marketing, and over the past 27 years the annual McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival has contributed towards showcasing the region to a wide range of visitors and supporting a number of MVGWTA and McLaren Vale businesses.

“Since the Festival’s inception, the Association has annually reviewed the event structure and offering to ensure continuous improvement and importantly – its alignment and delivery against the Association’s Strategic Themes of ‘premiumisation’ and ‘visitation’.

“In more recent years, the Association has weighted the value of ‘premium visitation’ over increases in visitation during the Festival – that is, attracting a higher value visitor – not just a higher number of visitors.

“In terms of performance indicators, the Association has noted a stagnation in Festival participation by member businesses across all Festival event types.

“Planning and preparation to deliver the Festival consumes nine months of the year; retiring the existing Festival enables the Association the capacity to further develop and construct a reimagined in-region event that delivers against the Association’s Strategic Themes, adds value and equity to Brand McLaren Vale, and importantly – drives the premiumisation of visitation for the benefit of all of Members and region.”

This year’s Festival was marred by negative media reports about some isolated unsavoury incidents.

“The virality of social media platforms in showcasing isolated incidents of antisocial behaviours has contributed towards increased reputational risk – not only for the Festival, but also for Brand McLaren Vale beyond the Festival weekend,” the statement says.

The MVGWTA says it will continue to consult with members and stakeholders over the coming 12 months regarding the strategic objectives, operations and timings of the new in-region event.

“The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival has welcomed multiple generations of food and wine lovers to our region for nearly three decades, and MVGWTA looks forward to realising a reimagined in-region event in 2021 that will continue to create McLaren Vale brand ambassadors and advocates for life.”


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