The Pluses And Minuses At Australia’s Sirromet Winery Event
Here’s the scoop on A Day On The Green, a mid-sized music festival that takes place in the summer months at wineries in Australia and New Zealand.
Music festivals are, of course, are all about the setting and the bands. And while the setting is good – it’s on a big field that’s part of the winery but it’s not exactly like you are sitting among the grapevines – the bands at the one I attended were inadequate. I was there for one at Sirromet winery in Mount Cotton on a warm and sunny Sunday the first of November and only one of the four bands throughout the day and night were the kind that made you want to stand up and dance.
And they were not even the headliner.
The others – outside of Bob Evans who was more entertaining between songs than he was during them because he took swigs from a bottle of wine – were largely boring. The first identified himself as a folk singer and folks, he might can sing but he sure can’t entertain. He sat stoic playing songs better suited to a campfire than at a music festival.
I was told Blondie is playing at some point in the future and that would be fun. (Just don’t expect Debra Harry to be the sex symbol she was in the 80s!) Likewise, Fleetwood Mac was scheduled but was forced to cancel its Australian and New Zealand tour dates.
So my advice is to check the bands. Otherwise, at a cost of a whopping $100 for a GA ticket, it’s simply not worth the price. You have to buy your drinks ($7 for a can of beer and $28 for a bottle of wine) and the atmosphere cannot overwhelm spending around $175 for an afternoon and evening of mediocre music. Cut the price of tickets in half and you’re got a different story.
Not that the atmosphere is not good. It is. People put out blankets and chairs and they allow you to bring in food, so it’s like a big picnic with 5,000 or so other people. The field is big and wide and it’s on a slope so nobody in front of you blocks the view. The atmosphere is loose and sitting outside drinking beer (or wine) on a nice afternoon and evening is certainly not a bad way to spend a day.
Getting drinks is easy and the prices are not outrageous, certainly not by Australian standards. The wine is pretty good, too, so at $28 it’s probably not much more than you would pay for it at a bottle shop.
From a singles standpoint, there’s definitely some mingling – mostly after the alcohol from the day has kicked in after dark – but it’s nothing like, say, Jazz Fest in New Orleans. People go in groups and the age range is mostly 35-plus.
I do have some tips:
• Despite whatever the website says, the gates open at 2:30, with music starting at 3:45. If you want a good spot on the lawn it’s best to get there by 2. Be sure and have a couple of beers while you wait for the gates to open. At least until one fun-kill female event organizer instructs security to tell people they can’t drink beers while waiting in line.
• After you stake out your territory, walk around the grounds. And with in-out privileges you can go back to your car to get additional supplies, a jumper for when it cools down at night, etc. There’s even a wine tasting room next to the parking area.
• Don’t get the VIP. As far as I can tell, all that nets you is a seat and you must actually stay in your seat during the music. It’s better on the lawn, anyway.
A Day On The Green runs in the summer months from October – March with more than 30 concerts per season in the all major wine-growing regions around Australia. The next one at Sirromet is Sunday, Feb. 2. It goes from 3:30-10 p.m.