Hello, gentle readers. I am here to bring you the inside scoop to one of the recent OC Event I attended, The Dana Point Food, Wine and Music Festival.
It was a beautiful and warm day in So Cal, perfect for an outdoors beer and wine festival. Armed with my camera, I enthusiastically marched into the event with high expectations.
– Since the event was held at a dog-friendly park, there was LOTS of dogs. I love dogs! There will be lots of pictures of dogs I just can’t help myself.
-The event offered several different ticket and drink options.
-There was a lot of local businesses to see and discover.
-Free Ben&Jerry’s ice cream! Mmmm…cookie dough…one of my favorites.
-The people watching was almost as good as the dog watching.
-You could get full pours of beers in the VIP area.
-VIP area offered some table seating with shade (the only offered seating at the event) with servers running around delivering artisan salads.
-For a wine-centered event, they made a decent effort to expand their craft beer selection which was quite admirable. I got to sip on Hangar 24 Belgian Summer and an Anchor Porter to name a few.
-The organization of the event wasn’t the best. No one knew where I could check-in for my media press pass and I was directed to “talk so someone with a walkie-talkie.” After several minutes of waiting followed by walking from area to area, we finally were adorned with wristbands and glasses.
-There wasn’t water anywhere. It didn’t seem like a great idea to have a 7 hour drinking event with no visible water stations…in the sun and heat. I might suggest next time, large igloo water coolers placed throughout the event.
-The Stella lounge was a cornered-off tent and we couldn’t even get a glass a beer with our VIP wristband, apparently we were supposed to get a paper ticket?
-There was rumored issues with the beer vendors having to fill-out city permit paperwork after the event already began. Lack of communication?
-It felt like the event was more like an upscale marketplace in some respects because there was more vendors selling you things like vacation packages, t-shirts, art, and chiropractic sessions than there were tasting stations.
-The unlimited nature of the beer tasting during a 7 hour event + the heat + lack of water= some pretty saucy attendees. Peeps were already making fools of themselves at 3pm!
Overall, the event location was beautiful and I did have an enjoyable experience with a few minor annoyances. It was a new experience for me going to this type of event. I am spoiled by the beer-centric events where there are only maybe 2 or 3 vendor stations, and many beverage options to leisurely sample while enjoying a rousing game of giant jenga. With some minor improvements and more beer variety, it could certainly be a great event to attend for many years to come! Did any of you go? What were your thoughts? Cheers!