full of festivals isn’t it? Well, it certainly is in the wine world with events
at Stellenbosch and Limpopo last weekend, events in Robertson and Hermanus this
weekend, Soweto wine festival coming up at the end of the month and everywhere
we turn seeming to be an excuse to drink wine.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m as fond
of a glass of wine as the next girl – but I am beginning to wonder if we’ve got
these festivals right.
Too full for fun?
Last year I
was at the Franschhoek Bastille festival – and swore ‘never again’. This year I
was at Stellenbosch on ‘student Saturday’ which is not something I will be
returning to in a hurry.
The Bastille Festival had nearly 4,000 people in one
big sweaty tent this year, Stellenbosch had in excess of 6,000 on Saturday,
Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend had more than 16,000 over the duration of the
I have to ask – how is it possible to have a good time when things
are that busy? Parking is a nightmare, you can’t talk to the winemakers, drunk people
are strewn all over the floor – is this the best way for us to show off our
On the other hand
festivals that do manage to be busy and workable at the same time – and, in
defence of the ones I’ve just named, Sunday at Franschhoek Bastille Festival
was extremely pleasant and comfortable and I understand that the Thursday
Connoisseurs Evening at Stellenbosch was absolutely fabulous with space, time,
lovely wines and chatty winemakers galore.
Should we perhaps designate one day
as ‘Drunken Party Day’ and get it over and done with, so that serious
wine-drinkers can indulge their tastes – and their wallets – in relative peace
festivals are great fun, a wonderful way of relaxing with friends and family by
tasting lovely wines and enjoying delicious food – all my favourite things in
Obviously we all want to do the same kind of thing and I don’t want to
stop visiting these events, but now that they are getting INSANELY popular,
perhaps it is time for the organisers to take a fresh look at how they manage
We’ve all been to good ones, and I suspect we’ve all been to bad
ones too, so let us have your thoughts on festivals in general and what we think they
could do better.