Long running McLaren Vale wine festival blames social media for decision to shut down

A South Australia wine event that has been running for 28 years is calling time, saying social media is partly to blame.

The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival, which runs annually over the June long weekend, has decided to shut down the festival from 2020, despite increasing popularity and attendance numbers.

The McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism body said the decision was driven by a lack of “high value” visitors, alongside a decrease in participation for the event’s ‘Sunday Experience’.

It said a number of recent incidents on social media that potentially damaged the region’s reputation was also as a determining factor.

“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 beyond the Festival weekend,” the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism said.

This year’s event will be the last festival.