Visitors will have even more reasons to see regional South Australia, with a calendar of regional events being boosted across the state.
Round one of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Regional Event Fund will support 32 events across the state – including long-standing regional events like Winter Reds in the Adelaide Hills on this weekend, and expanded versions of previously held events like Grapes of Mirth: The Festival in the Barossa this October.
It will also see the return of regional events which were forced to postpone or downsize last year due to COVID impacts, including Handpicked Festival with music, dancing and picnics on the lawn in the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the historic Bay to Birdwood motoring event in the Adelaide Hills.
The Regional Event Fund is managed by the SATC, through Events South Australia, and provides financial and marketing support to attract and grow tourism events. The annual grants program aims to strengthen the regional events calendar and drive increased visitation and economic stimulus to the regional economy.
The 2022-23 Fund supports events held from 1 September 2022 to 30 August 2023. A second round of funding for 2022-23 will open in August 2022.
Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said regional tourism has been the powerhouse through the pandemic, now making up 57 per cent of South Australia’s visitor economy.
“As we continue to drive the recovery of our state’s tourism industry, it is so important we keep giving reasons for people to visit the regions,” Minister Bettison said.
“There are so many fantastic regional events held throughout the year, and these grants assist regional events grow to be even better – helping attract more visitors to regional SA and providing an important economic and cultural boost to regional communities.”
Sarah Carlson, executive officer at Adelaide Hills Wine Region which organises Winter Reds said Winter Reds is “a much-loved regional event, which has been drawing visitors to the beautiful Adelaide Hills for over 10 years”.
“Coming off the back of a couple of challenging years, we’re thrilled to receive funding through the Regional Event Fund. It is incredible support that will make organising our event so much easier,” Ms Carlson said.
“Winter Reds 2022 is on this weekend, and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve received strong bookings leading into the event and look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to show them the very best of the Adelaide Hills in winter: rustic cellar doors, roaring fires and a glass of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo or Shiraz in hand.”
Grapes of Mirth festival director, Merrick Watts said the inaugural Grapes of Mirth: The Festival will be held in the Barossa this October, and “the Regional Event Fund ensures the two-day event will be bigger and better than initially planned”.
“It has taken us a few years to get here, having ran a few smaller Grapes of Mirth events in the Coonawarra wine region during this time, but the festival spectacular is finally happening!,” he said.
“We cannot wait for people to flock to the beautiful Barossa to see the biggest names in Australian comedy and to enjoy the region’s incredible food and wine of course.”