In recent years the winery-festival has become a popular format, particularly with more mature audiences, and equally mature bands. Having an event in a McLaren Vale winery guarantees two further things: decent wines – available by the bottle – giving the proceedings a level of relative sophistication, and a stunning backdrop to the music as the sun sets over the ocean, turning the gentle hills of the Fleurieu Peninsula shades of gold and pink.
The bands at the Day on the Green at Leconfield Wines: Something for Kate, You Am I and headliners Hunters and Collectors perfectly matched the wine appreciating class of nineteen ninety-something. The food was also a notch above the usual festie-fare and everything, including bar and bathroom queues, was polite and orderly, even the mosh pit was replaced by platinum, gold and silver seating. This seemed a little frustrating for the bands trying to whip up a bit of atmosphere. Elsewhere, while toddlers settled into strollers for the night and wine-loosened parents relived their dreams of cars and girls in a socialist utopia, a genteel mayhem broke out, climaxing in the ultimate Oz sing-along Throw Your Arms Around Me. As a Brit, this was the only song I knew all day, having heard an equally drunken cover in a pub in Clapham one Australia Day.
A beautiful location, some fine music and fine wines. Rock’n roll? Not really. But I loved it.