One of South Australia’s most popular winery events, The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, has shut down, with the region partially blaming social media posts from this year’s event.
Throughout the June 8-10 long weekend, pictures and videos from the Sea & Vines Festival emerged on platforms like Instagram that didn’t paint the patrons or the festival itself in the best light. Seven News reported that the pictures and videos showed people falling down drunk, viral posts of lads urinating in public, and uses of illicit substances.
Winery promotor Becky Hirst posted on the Winey Times Facebook page that 12 people needed paramedics on the Sunday of the event. She also said that hundreds of people were drunkenly wandered the country roads.
Despite increased attendance numbers, the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism body has decided to shut down the festival from 2020. “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,” said the MVGTWA.
The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival began in 1992 and after 27 years, the winery festival has come to a close today.