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Music, Mud, and Memories: Winter Wine Festival Concert at Crooked River Wines

The Bugle App

Donna Portland

08 June 2024, 11:15 PM

Music, Mud, and Memories: Winter Wine Festival Concert at Crooked River WinesPhenomenal backdrop to the concert at Crooked River Wines

The Bugle attended the highly anticipated “Winter Wine Festival” weekend concert at Crooked River Wines yesterday. Saturday’s headliner was Icehouse, the iconic band that dominated the 80s music scene. As a former fan from that era, it was a nostalgic treat to review this legendary band three decades later. Their enduring talent and energy, even in their late sixties, were evident as they rocked the crowd with timeless hits like "Great Southern Land."

After many days of driving rain leading up to the event, the weather gods finally blessed the festival with clear skies and mild temperatures. Though the ground was pretty muddy and many a pair of white sneakers were sacrificed, no one seemed to care. The crowd was clearly enjoying the live music and the ambience of the setting – a phenomenal backdrop of green hills and grapevines.

The concert commenced at midday with the supporting acts The Hollywood Waltz, Olivia Coggan, Pallas Haze, Marvell, Ash Grunwald, and Alex Lloyd. Olivia Coggan, a talented performer, was joined on stage by her father, also a musician, who was clearly a proud dad. Pallas Haze got the crowd dancing with a funky rendition of “Staying Alive”. Marvell were an upbeat rock and roll band that enticed many more to the mosh pit. The crowd particularly responded to electric guitar soloist Ash Grunwald who has a big personality and played music that kept the crowd dancing – or toe-tapping if they were over 60! Alex Lloyd kept the crowd engaged, particularly with his rendition of “Hallelujah” and “Amazing”. He also covered ‘Crowded House’ favourite “You better be home soon”, which was well received.

Music, as always, serves as a powerful motivator, evoking precise memories and emotions. Many of the ‘oldies’, like this reporter, felt 18 again! It was clear that older audience members relished their favourite classic songs, while younger attendees discovered the magic of Icehouse for the first time. Picnic blankets and foldable chairs dotted the venue, with many enjoying the concert seated, singing along. Those eager to dance found their way to the mosh pit, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.

As expected, the demographic skewed older, reflecting the band’s peak era in the 80s. To gain a fresh perspective, The Bugle asked several young concertgoers about their experience and familiarity with Icehouse's music. Most didn’t know much but were enthusiastic about live music generally and happy to join in.

Amid a remarkable lightshow, Icehouse delivered an impressive setlist, starting with “Icehouse,” then “Walls,” “Electric Blue,” “Hey Little Girl,” “Crazy,” “No Promises,” and “Don’t Believe Anymore,” among other smash hits, which received a great response from the audience. There will undoubtedly be a few new younger fans afterward.

Reviving live music concerts in the vineyard is a major part of owner Roger Lloyd’s vision. He has ambitious plans for the future of Crooked River Wines, including a wedding and functions centre currently under construction, as well as more concerts of course. However, organising these events involves considerable effort, including fencing the whole concert area, hiring around 20 security guards, ensuring police presence, and providing extra hospitality staff for the VIP area, which, by the way, sold out very quickly! Food vans and a large bar for the general area offered a selection of Crooked River estate wines, beers, and soft drinks.

Today’s (Sunday 9th) line up features headliner The Rubens, supported by Daisy Pring, Darling Street, James Burton, Pacific Avenue, and Jack River. Tickets are still available at Crooked River Wines websiteYou’ll have a great time - but wear your gumboots.