A unique music festival concept designed to cast the spotlight on female artists generated a palpable buzz and set Tanunda’s Nicola Biagi in good stead to take out the 2017 Barossa Young Ambassador title.
Ms Biagi, 25, also took out the Barossa Young Ambassador Project Award with her concept.
She said her festival, Beyond the Tracks, was unique in that all of its headlining acts would be up-and-coming female artists.
“Last year, Triple J released figures which showed females don’t get the opportunities their male countrparts do,” Ms Biagi said.
“Once I showed the stats (at the project presentation) everyone was quite shocked at how uneven the playing field is.”
The festival, if it were to proceed, would ideally be at Chateau Tanunda.
“It’s called Beyond the Tracks because it would literally be over the train tracks, behind Chateau Tanunda (if they’d allow it!); the view from behind it I think sums up the Barossa,” Ms Biagi said.
She heavily researched the various aspects of putting the festival on, potential government grants – and how much revenue it could bring into the region.
Across the period of the ambassador program, Ms Biagi said she had enjoyed the networking opportunities and learning new things.
“As much as you think you know, there’s so much you learn (through the program) that you don’t,” she said.
“It encourages you to get out and learn about your home town, so you can then go away and continue promoting the area with that knowledge.”
Ms Biagi – who grew up at Rowland Flat and attended Nuriootpa High School, and now works in retail – said winning the Young Ambassador was a genuine confidence boost.
“I’m looking forward to mentoring the next group of Young Ambassadors,” she said.
“It’s really exciting for me, to get them excited and educated about the region.”
Sponsors are vital to the program and Ms Biagi extended her thanks to Clarke and Turner Travel Associates, Qatar Airways and Peter Lehmann Wines.
“Without them we wouldn’t get these amazing prizes,” she said.
“Also to my mum and dad, and partner Aaron, for putting up with me.”
Others who had supported her included Sharyn Bobridge, Nicoled Hodgson, Olivia Barrie, Linda Parbs, Emily Kroeschel, Sarah Knight and Chloe Thomas.
“Thanks also to the other Young Ambassadors – this could have gone to any of them,” Ms Biagi said.
"I can't wait to see what they all do. And Sage (Krollig) – you owe me $10!”
Festival chair Cathy Wills said the committee were proud of the candidates who represented the next generation of Barossans to steward the region’s heritage and history.
“We received such positive feedback from panel members and beyond, about the calibre of the young ambassadors and the final results were extremely close,” she said.
“Congratulations to Nicola Biagi for her win in two categories. Nicola will be a brilliant representative for our region and we look forward to partnering with her over the next two years.”
The Barossa Young Ambassador Excellence Award was awarded to one of the youngest entrants, Maddison Perry.
The judges said her enthusiasm for the Barossa “shone” throughout the program.