THE Rutherglen Winery Walkabout has sold out of Sunday tickets for the first time in the event’s 42-year history.
About 11,000 tickets have already sold for the weekend with a month to go, making it the fastest ticket sales on record for the Winemakers of Rutherglen event.
About 12,500 people attended Winery Walkabout in 2015 with the number likely to hit 14,000 this year. Tickets for Sunday were capped at 9000 to help wineries and the town manage the crowds.
Rutherglen Wine and Tourism executive officer Natalie Ajay said Saturday tickets were also selling fast online with just 2000 left.
“Because we’ve reached capacity for this event for the first time, we won’t be able to issue tickets on the day at wineries or the Visitor Information Centre, so you’ll need to purchase them online before arrival,” she said.
“We’d love to be able to welcome more people to Winery Walkabout but unfortunately our wineries can only take so many people in one day.
“By creating a safe and manageable environment within Winery Walkabout we’re able to provide a much more pleasant day out for our visitors and also make sure we’re prepared and adequately staffed to optimise all aspects of health and safety for visitors, locals and winery staff.”
Ms Ajay said with a population of 2500 at Rutherglen it was difficult to find space for up to 14,000 people.
“Accommodation in almost every town within 100 kilometres of Rutherglen is booked out, it’s absolutely incredible how many people come to Rutherglen for Winery Walkabout,” she said.
“All the local hotels, restaurants, cafes and even the supermarket are very busy serving hundreds of people over the long weekend, it’s brilliant for local business.”
Ms Ajay said many visitors discovered the region through Winery Walkabout.
“You hear some great stories about people visiting Rutherglen every year after having a blast at Winery Walkabout and even tales of two generations of one family coming to Winery Walkabout after decades of visits to our festival – I don’t think there’s anything else like it in Australia.”