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Festival is toast

Toast Martinborough is cancelled. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Wine festival latest covid-19 casualty
Covid-19 puts a cork in toast event

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The iconic Toast Martinborough is the latest to fall victim to covid-19 event cancellations.

Early bird tickets for the event which brings thousands of people to the region to celebrate the new season of wines and general admission tickets had largely sold out.

However, event organisers announced on Friday afternoon that it had been cancelled to prevent the risk of covid-19 transmission.

Toast Martinborough chair Pete Monk said it had been a very hard decision and it was a position faced by many other event organisers around the country.

“We did a lot of thinking and consulting and we feel we’ve made the best decision for all those involved.

“Our heart goes out to everyone who can’t come this year but we’re looking forward to a stunning celebration in 2021.”

While Toast was cancelled, Martinborough was still open, he said.

“The place has been really busy. It’s been great to see Wellingtonians getting out into the region and seeing everything that Wairarapa, and especially Martinborough, has to offer.”

Monk said several people had already commented that they would keep their accommodation bookings and visit Wairarapa that weekend.

Anna Nielson, general manager of Destination Wairarapa, was hopeful this would hold true and that people would still come to the region.

She said it was “hugely saddening” that the iconic event, which had been running for 29 years, had been cancelled.

It was also “understandable” though.

“Economically, it’s a huge impact on the region losing an event like that.

“Losing an event like Toast Martinborough is a devastating blow in terms of visitor numbers and visitor spend.”

She said the effects would be “far reaching”, from the accommodation and transport providers to local supermarkets and petrol stations.

“It’s going to be felt by everybody.”

However, Wairarapa was still a popular destination for domestic tourists and she hoped people would still come to enjoy the region’s “great offerings in that food and wine space”.

“Even though we don’t get to celebrate it all together at one event, I hope people will still come to the region, still keep their bookings and go round with their friends and families to the cellar doors.”

Tickets purchased for 2020 Toast Martinborough event would still be guaranteed valid for next year’s event on November 21, even if there is a price change.

Those unable to make next year’s event can get their tickets fully refunded, minus the credit card and booking fees.

  • More information relating to this will be available on iTICKET this week.


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