2019 Barossa Vintage Festival season officially open

Tourism Barossa regional tourism manager Cathy Wills, Barossa ambassador organiser Nicola Biagi, marketing co-ordinator Taryn Wills and festival director Jenny O'Brien toast the festival season open.

Tourism Barossa regional tourism manager Cathy Wills, Barossa ambassador organiser Nicola Biagi, marketing co-ordinator Taryn Wills and festival director Jenny O'Brien toast the festival season open.

Tourism Barossa anticipate supporters will help “crack” the 100 mark of events hosted during the 2019 Vintage Festival after more than 100 people joined to officially declare the season open this week.

The biennial event, run since 1947, falls April 24-28.

Regional tourism manager Cathy Wills announced next year’s theme – ‘Share your Barossa story’, in front of a supportive crowd inside Yalumba’s wine room.

Ms Wills explained how the individual events each have a deep Barossa connection, so is keen for organisers to share their “slice” of the region’s story with visitors and locals who join for the Barossa tradition.

During the 2017 event, about 35 per cent of people attending the 90 events were interstate visitors and, on the whole, about 60,000 people immersed themselves in the program’s line up.

Ms Wills explained, with 20,000 people actively engaged in the festival, the economic impact meant $9.5 million to the region across the five days. 

The Tourism Barossa team is optimistic they will exceed previous visitation numbers during next year’s festival.

Tuesday evening’s gathering enabled newcomer, festival director Jenny O’Brien to make herself known; expressing her desire to assist anyone keen to run an event.

Having only been in the role for just five weeks, Ms O’Brien shared her delight in learning first-hand the passion from community members, including what events people want to see continue. 

2017 Barossa Young Ambassador organiser Nicola Biagi and her team were on hand to promote the youth program open to young people aged 18-25.

She explained how applications are still open and wants to hear from anyone by email at nicola.biagi@gmail.com to express their interest or have a conversation about the program.

In addition, marketing co-ordinator Taryn Wills’ support includes helping organisers to draw out the elements to help Barossa stories stand out.

She highlighted how workshops will also be run to further assist those making sure their events are well known.  

Meanwhile, key events will continue such as Ziegenmarkt, which marks its 40th anniversary and the hugely popular parade – both to fall on Friday, April 26. Appearing from March will be the pop-up scarecrows.  

While event registrations opened Wednesday, August 1, other key dates to remember include event registrations close on September 27 and the official program will be launched early December.

In respect of Anzac Day commemorative services, no vintage festival events will run prior to noon on April 25.

Those who missed Tuesday evening’s gathering are urged to get in touch with Tourism Barossa, where supportive marketing materials is available, on 8563 0600.

Organisers are also encouraged to keep an eye on Barossa Vintage Festival and Barossa Herald websites, plus Facebook for updates.