Reviewed on Saturday March 18

Some things just go together. Peanut butter and jelly, socks and shoes, Wayne and Garth, and most importantly, wine and music. How could that not be a winning combination? The man behind Hot Dub Time Machine, Tom Loud, sure thought so. After the success of his aptly named Hot Dub Wine Machine event in McLaren Vale in 2016, Loud decided to bring his chardy-drinking dance party to the rest of Oz, with a brilliant lineup including Pnau, Young Franco, Miami Horror and plenty more.

Clad in gumboots and ponchos, punters braved the drizzly weather at the Hope Estate winery in the Hunter Valley, but in the end, most of them gave up and committed to their new life of being mud people. The rain wasn’t stopping anyone – no way rosé!

To keep their muddy exteriors still looking festival-worthy, the local glitter gal gang Glitoris had everyone covered, with their own stall dedicated to pimping up your festival look by essentially smothering you in glitter. There were also food stalls set up from some great local venues such as Goldfish and Hunter Valley Cheese Factory.

While drinking straight from a bottle of chardonnay is usually something I reserve for being alone in my room watching re-runs of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the Hot Dub punters showed no such decorum, nailing whole bottles to their selves while the first few acts performed.

In response to people literally playing football with whole glass bottles of wine, and generally getting a bit too involved with the wonderful libations the Hunter has to offer, the festival took swift action and appropriately shut down all the bars at around 6:30. They reopened soon after, but only allowed one drink per customer per transaction.

The slight disappointment with the behaviour of the crowd was topped by Paces announcing he was bringing out an Idol star, and it wasn’t Nollsie, but Guy Sebastian. Miami Horror also played a killer live set, kicking off what is set to be an amazing Aussie tour for them, thanks to some fresh new songs from their recent release The Shapes.

After not playing an official live show in five years, Pnau was back in business here too, and the crowds came running down to the stage for the radio hit single ‘Chameleon’, fronted by the powerhouse singer Shakira Marshall.

Then, at long last, the Hot Dub Time Machine had arrived. Loud capped off a massive day and night, taking us on a nostalgic journey through music history from the 1960s to now with a massive two-hour set, with the crowd soaking up every minute of it. There sure is something cathartic about jumping up and down with 10,000 other people to the hits of yesterday and today, and this party will surely go on for years to come.

Photo: Pat Stevenson

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