Gundaroo vineyard Tallagandra Hill Winery has been inundated with eager visitors since reopening their cellar doors to the public – in a socially distant manner – over the past four weeks.
Being able to take 56 seated guests at their venue as opposed to the 170 they’d seat under normal circumstances, Tallagandra Hill owners David Faulks and Mary McAvoy decided it was time to start celebrating local artists by establishing the We Love Local Festival.
The program provides a range of entertainment options for our fun-starved community, while supporting local artists and producers, with seven events held over weekends from tonight, 11 July to 22 August.
Such has been the demand that all the events have sold out barring a few tickets left to two Sunday Sessions with Lucy Sugerman on 26 July and 2 August.
Mr Faulks told Canberra Weekly there are a lot of people wanting to get out and enjoy the region’s local produce while experiencing live entertainment.
“There’s actually been none,” he said. “We’re really the first cabs off the rank in terms of doing this stuff.
“The reason for calling the festival We Love Local is about saying let’s hope that people actually behave in that way, get out and buy stuff that’s going to make a difference.”
He said they were inspired to establish the festival to both activate the versatile event space at their picturesque vineyard, while simultaneously supporting local artists.
“We have lots of friends in entertainment and creative industries who have been absolutely smashed by the COVID experience – and we wanted to do our little bit to help them get going again,” he said.
All the proceeds of the festival after catering will be going directly to the performers.
Given so many local artists have been bereft of opportunities to perform, Faulks said the musicians he contacted to perform at the We Love Local Festival were immediately enthusiastic and grateful.
“They’re enthusiastic for two reasons: one, they’re desperate to play and perform, and secondly, they have an opportunity to actually earn some money doing what they do.”
Mr Faulks said Tallagandra Hill has been hit by the triple whammy of drought, summer’s bushfire smoke tainting their 2020 harvest, and the COVID-19 shutdown affecting visitors and sales.
“It’s been a difficult period, but we’ve been fortunate that we’ve got a really loyal customer base and our wine sales have continued to be strong, which we’ve been very grateful for.
“On top of that, as soon as we were able to reopen our accommodation and cellar door, as is evidenced by the event activity, we’ve had just really strong bookings across the board,” he said.
Tickets will shortly be released to another Beautifully Mad gig in August and a Musica Da Camera String Orchestra in September.