Pop goes the wine festivalBy Sally Bryant
February 15, 2012
Organisers have put the cork back in plans for what was billed as the world’s biggest wine and food festival, blaming the economic climate and the Olympics.
But although the fizz has gone out of the King’s Meadow event for this June, they say it will go ahead next year in a more relaxed style.
Before glasses are charged again there will be a series of pop-up events to find out exactly what will please the wine trade’s palate for 2013.
Publicity for the Big Wine Festival has been promising a unique family day out with wines, beers, cocktails and food from all corners of the world.
It was hoped it would attract 120,000 people over four days, from Thursday, June 7, with marquees covering 30,000sq ft.
An “indulgent VIP Village” was planned for the Thames-side field with restaurants, bars, lounge bars and entertainment and celebrity chefs.
Other highlights included big-name musicians and a comedy club.
The festival is the brainchild of events specialist Olivia Ocana, who is also responsible for design and delivery. The promotion wagon has started to roll, with a trade event at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, Madejski Stadium, and a public consultation evening in September.
Now the party is off – for the time being. Yesterday a spokesman for the organisers confirmed the festival was being pushed back because of the current economy and the Olympics.
On Friday, Mrs Ocana was quoted in a wine trade publication saying “significant changes” were being made to the style of the festival, with more relaxed tents and structures. The number of retailers’ spaces was also being reduced.
Before the postponement was announced, the planned £50 adult ticket price had already been cut to £37. When the festival was unveiled, the price of a VIP ticket was £250 plus VAT.