The Wombats, Client Liaison and Tkay Maidza to headline Grapevine Gathering festival at Roche Estate, Pokolbin

HONORARY AUSSIES: UK trio The Wombats will perform at the Grapevine Gathering festival at Roche Estate, Pokolbin on December 1.
HONORARY AUSSIES: UK trio The Wombats will perform at the Grapevine Gathering festival at Roche Estate, Pokolbin on December 1.

The Hunter Valley has a well-established reputation as a destination for concertgoers, having played host to some of the biggest names in international music over the past decade or so.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and Dolly Parton are some of the acts that have taken to the stage in the Pokolbin vineyards in recent years.

The 2018-19 concert season is shaping up to be another hot one in the Hunter Valley, and one that’s set to draw a younger demographic than usual.

A mouth-watering line-up was spilt last week for the Grapevine Gathering festival, which will make its way to Roche Estate on Saturday, December 1.

Grapevine Gathering is coming to NSW for the first time in 2018, after debuting in Victoria’s Yarra Valley last year.

It will be headlined by UK act The Wombats, who were in the country this month for Splendour in the Grass.

The Liverpool trio are regular visitors to Australian shores, and have played in the Hunter region at Maitland’s Groovin’ the Moo in 2011 and 2017.

The Wombats will be joined by indie pop duo Client Liaison, singer-rapper Tkay Maidza, Miami Horror, Dom Dolla, Young Franco, Joy. and Arroyo.

With a line-up full of Triple J favourites, Grapevine Gathering is likely to be a hit with millennial music lovers – as will Hope Estate’s FKA Festival on October 13, and the return of Hot Dub Wine Machine on March 23 (which moves to Roche Estate in 2019 after two years at Hope).

Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association general manager Jo Thomas said these new festivals are a great opportunity to attract new audiences to the region.

“The younger demographic of the 25-35 age group who are looking for short breaks to escape their busy lives are an important audience segment for our destination and the longevity of tourism in our area,” she said.

Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are still well catered for this coming summer, with John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Shania Twain among the big-name acts set to perform at the Pokolbin vineyard venues.

Farnham’s show at Bimbadgen will be held the same night as Grapevine Gathering, with the double concert weekend promising a bumper start to the summer in the Hunter.

The concert season will get underway on September 21 and 22, when the ninth annual Wollombi Music Festival takes place at its new home, Cranky Rock. Friday’s headline act is Sex on Toast while the Saturday will feature Tijuana Cartel, Kallidad, Marshall Okell and more.

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