Image Upload

File size must be less than 2Mb

You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image

File types (jpg, png, gif)

  • Hero image
    Grampians Grape Escape is going full steam ahead to present its annual festival next weekend, May 3-5.

Grape Escape ticket sales ramp up

By Lauren Henry

Although affected by ticket sale trends in 2024, Grampians Grape Escape is going full steam ahead to present its annual festival next weekend, May 3-5.

The Halls Gap event is bucking the trend of the series of festivals and concerts across Australia that have cancelled in recent months.

The GGE will once again bring together wine and food producers from across the Grampians region, and beyond, for festival-goers to enjoy.

Article continues below

Festival co-director Kate Kirkpatrick said the rising cost-of-living expenses were affecting festivals and major events, and GGE had experienced a change in consumer trends.

“Post COVID, we all bounced back for one good year when everyone had surplus of money, but obviously the ever-increasing cost-of-living and interest rate rises are certainly hurting families across the board. We’re noticing that not just in events, retail, tourism and hospitality, but with the closures of many other restaurants and offerings as well,” she said.

Ms Kirkpatrick said tickets would generally sell across the six months prior to the Grape Escape, but that habit had changed.

“We are starting to see more of that last-minute buying, which doesn’t help, obviously, with planning festivals and events,” she said.

“That’s just the consumer trends of late, with accommodation booking and late ticket patterns.

“Whether they’ve something on or deciding whether they can afford it that month, or it’s dependent on what the weather is doing... that’s certainly the patterns we’re seeing.”

Ms Kirkpatrick said the cost of insurance was also impacting festivals.

“Certainly our costs have gone up 30 to 40 percent in terms of putting the festival on,” she said.

“Obviously, we cannot pass that increase onto our consumers, so we’re just very mindful of the cost of putting on such a large-scale festival, especially like ours where it’s all brought in and it’s basically a blank canvas. 

“We need to bring everything in and that may be something we need to look at long-term and with strategies about what that festival looks like and what we can sustain, given the current climate we’re in.”

Ms Kirkpatrick said while ticket sales had started slow, they were now gaining traction.

“We’re comfortable. Easter is always a blocker for our consumers for some reason, so depending on where that sits, and obviously school holidays do not help with families, so we’re starting to see things ramp up now, which is fantastic,” she said.

Ms Kirkpatrick said the festival would include 100-plus exhibitors with plenty of new additions this year.

More than 50 wineries plus beer and distilleries and high quality food will be on show. 

Ms Kirkpatrick said about 10 to 15 percent of ticket sales were to local people, with most attendees from Melbourne and regional Victoria, and some travelling from South Australia and New South Wales.

“Feel Good Friday is our local night, so we’re embracing our regional bands and encouraging everyone to come out in support, especially after bushfires,” she said.

“Certainly our Friday night is well patronised for locals and traditionally Sunday is a local day. So it’s a really good vibe.”

For tickets, visit 

The entire April 24, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April, 24, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!