The Penola Coonawarra Acoustic Music Gathering was a resounding success over the weekend, with hundreds of people gathering for a three-day musical feast at McCorquindale Park.
The festival was the first major event Penola had hosted in over 12 months and was overseen by a committee of five dedicated members who worked hard to make it all happen.
Committee member Leigh Miller said organisers were thrilled with the turnout, with their target number of weekend passes sold, as well as plenty of merchandise.
Mr Miller said the weekend was filled with acoustic music that captivated audiences in each of the performance halls.
Across McCorquindale Park were two performance stages, an open mic stage and jam sessions.
Committee chair Anne Miller was full of praise for the event.
“The music’s been wonderful,” she said.
“Everyone’s brought a different flavour to the stage.”
Ms Miller said the line-up was nothing short of impressive, with performers such as Pete Denahy, Khristian Mizzi, Brushwood Folk Band, Nancy Bates, The River Pearlers and Bruce Watson.
Ms Miller said the event had received lots of support from its major sponsors, as well as wineries, businesses and the community.
“The support from people in the community has been fantastic,” she said.
Ms Miller said the primary school program and youth mentoring were extremely successful. At least 90 primary school children were involved in the primary program and 30 young people attended the youth mentoring.
People came from far and wide to attend the event, including Adelaide, Casterton, Melbourne, New South Wales, Northern Territory as well as locals.
“You cannot stop grinning, because you feel so good listening to music,” Ms Miller said.
“Because of COVID we have had to spread out, but we have been so blessed to have such wonderful facilities.”
Ms Miller said organisers had received great feedback from all who attended and people were already excited for next year’s gathering.
“People enjoyed the opportunity to come together, play music, camp out and socialise,” she said.
“I have had someone come to me and say ‘when’s it on next year, I need the dates so I can book my accommodation for next year.’”
Rebecca Trotter from The Blok Coonawarra said her business wanted to support the event and thought it was fantastic for the region.
“It’s great to see so many people visiting Penola,” Ms Trotter said.
“It’s really important to us to support and sponsor something that we think is fantastic for bringing people to the region.”