The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival will cease to exist in its current form in 2020, despite having run successfully for the last 27 years. In its quarter decade run, the event has become a Southern Vales institution, regularly drawing bumper crowds of tourists and South Australians alike.
In recent years however, the event has been marred by social media coverage highlighting lewd and drunken behaviour carried out by a portion of attendees.
Following a re-think on how the event aimed to promote the McLaren Vale Wine Region, the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association (MVGWTA) have decided to call it quits and focus on a re-imagined event for 2021.
A spokesperson for MVGTWA said the Association recognised that in-region events form a key component of successful destination marketing, and that the annual Sea & Vines Festival has contributed towards showcasing the region to a wide-range of visitors and supported a range of McLaren Vale businesses.
"Since the Festival's inception, the Association has annually reviewed the event structure and offering to ensure continuous improvement," said the spokesperson.
"In more recent years, the Association has weighted the value of 'premium visitation' over increases in visitation during the Festival.
"Further, the virality of social media platforms in showcasing isolated incidents of antisocial behaviours has contributed towards increased reputational risk - not only for the Festival, but also for Brand McLaren Vale."
The Association plans to use the time off to further develop a re-imagined event that will add "value and equity to Brand McLaren Vale, and importantly - drive the premiumisation of visitation for the benefit of all of Members and region."
Plans concerning the re-imagined 2021 event will follow stakeholder consultation.