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Heat hits Adelaide Hills Crush events

Wine

The extreme heat expected this weekend has forced the cancellation or postponement of several Crush events in the Adelaide Hills, including Longview Vineyard’s street-art competition The Piece Project, but organisers say the festival will still go ahead.

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Longview announced this morning that it had made the “heartbreaking decision” not to proceed with Sunday’s Piece Project, which is the largest Crush event and usually attracts around 1200 to 1500 people to watch the outdoor art competition while tasting wines and listening to live music.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a high of 40 degrees on Friday, and 42 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

“For the safety of our artists, our guests and our staff, for the first time in its eight-year history we have made the unfortunate decision to postpone the event until later in the year,” Longview Vineyard managing director Peter Saturno said in a statement.

“Looking ahead, there is the real possibility of extreme fire danger and other heat-related risks, and as the event is mostly [an] outdoor event, we have made an informed, very tough choice.”

Crush is held annually in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region over the January long weekend, with more than 30 wineries hosting events including tastings, picnic lunches, degustation dinners, live music, art, theatre and garden games.

Due to the predicted heat, Pike & Joyce winery at Lenswood has cancelled its planned Cool, Crisp & Cruisin’ Crush event on Saturday and Sunday, although it will go ahead on Friday, while Lobethal Road Wines has decided not to proceed with its Summer Garden Party and Scott & La Prova / Somerled have cancelled their Gelati Party.

Anderson Hill at Lenswood has cancelled a planned Mexican Fiesta on Saturday and Sunday, but will still host a Spanish Degustation Dinner on Friday evening, and Tomich Wines has postponed its two-day Pony in the Vines Crush event until February 24.

“The decision to cancel this weekend is simply it’s not safe for our punters, staff or livestock in 41 and 42 degrees,” Tomich Wines’ Randal Tomich said.

“Ponies and children’s activities (pony rides, face painting and tractor rides) are an integral part of our event and we are not prepared to put anyone’s health at risk.”

While Longview and Lobethal Road Wines will still open their cellar doors during Crush, Pike & Joyce and Anderson Hill will open only on the Friday. The Tomich Wines vineyard will also be closed.

Fire danger ratings won’t be issued until nearer the weekend.

However, Kerry Treuel, executive officer of the Adelaide Hills Wine Region, said Crush organisers had been advised by the CFS that despite the heat, there was not likely to be a catastrophic or extreme fire danger rating on any of the three days of the festival.

“At this stage, the Adelaide Hills Crush Festival will go ahead as planned although individual wineries may make the decision to modify, cancel or postpone their events,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the CFS and individual venues throughout the week to ensure any potential risks are minimised.

“These are conditions that the wine region experiences and manages on an annual basis, so we are very well prepared and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful region on the weekend.”

The Piece Project at Longview during last year’s Crush.

The forecast has also affected other food events, with a planned Fork on the Road food truck event at Semaphore and the Cheese-A-Holics Twilight Cheese Festival at the old Mitsubishi plant in Tonsley both postponed. 

And the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market has changed its hours for this Sunday, when it will open from 8am until 11am instead of 9am to 1pm. The usual cooking demonstration and kids’ club activities have also been cancelled.

Longview said all tickets to The Piece Project that had been booked through Moshtix would be fully refunded.

“We were on track for our biggest event yet, with UK DJs Norman Jay MBE and Eric Powell as special guests, with an all-South Australian line-up of street artists vying for their art to grace the label of our cult premium Shiraz – ‘The Piece’,” Saturno said.

For more information on Crush and event changes, see the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Facebook page, Crush Festival Facebook event page, Adelaide Hills Wine Region Instagram account or the official website crushfestival.com.au.

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