Vibes & Vino: spirits not dampened, they danced in the rain

By Vanessa Wiltshire

RAIN — almost 17mm — did not dampen the spirits of festival goers on Saturday.

Vibes and Vino, the third — and newest — event on Heathcote Development and Tourism’s calendar, was a success despite the heavy morning downpour.

Stephen Trompp of Heathcote Tourism and Development said nearly 400 tickets were sold prior to the event, with similar numbers passing through the gate.

“Rain did not keep people away,” he said. "When you hold an outdoor event, the weather can go either way. It was an authentic country experience. It’s been a dry winter and spring and overall, we were grateful for the water.”

Donning plastic ponchos, many patrons, including kids, could be found dancing in the rain and jumping puddles.

“The wineries did an excellent job of keeping people watered — albeit in a different way,” Stephen added.

The music festival, which featured headlines acts Dyson Stringer Cloher, Josh Cashman, Neighbourhood Youth, Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters and Four Lion, was a strong drawcard.

President of Heathcote Tourism and Development Peter Maine said Vibes and Vino took the place of Wine Down Sunday, which had traditionally been part of the Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival.

“Music is a driver of visitation to the region,” he said. “Vibes and Vino is about adding music to what we are already well known for.”

India Munari of Heathcote Development and Tourism and Munari Wines said the festival was rounded out by five smaller Sunday events, held at various locations.

“We had live music on the verandah of our farmhouse at Munari,” she said. “There were also events at Heathcote Inn, Idavue, Red Edge and Palling Bros.”

Peregrine Ridge at Toolleen also enjoyed a successful weekend after the recent opening of their cellar door, with spectacular views. Heathcote Harvest was also full to capacity on both days.

Another milestone was reached at Barrack Recreation Reserve Pavilion, with the official opening of the netball courts on Saturday.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the overall $2.7 million development of Barrack Reserve was a fantastic community asset.

“The pavilion is currently used by so community groups which is wonderful to see,” she said. "Well done to the groups who supported this upgrade, with thanks City of Greater Bendigo and The Victorian State Government.”

Organisers wish to thank the many volunteers who helped in the set-up, running and pack down of Vibes and Vino, and are looking forward to next year!