Hot Dub Wine Machine festival: Why this ‘disgusting’ Australian music event has been dubbed the new Fyre Festival

Margaret Abrams

Billy McFarland's Fyre Festival is facing some serious competition - over the weekend, Australia’s Wine Machine became the new festival of infamy.

And while it wasn't quite as dramatic as Fyre, where festival goers ended up facing wild pig attacks and slept in FEMA tents, it wasn't exactly the glamorous weekend promised.

Read on...

What is Wine Machine festival?

The festival’s site promised “a full-bodied day of wine, food and live music, showcasing both the splendour of our nation’s most picturesque wine regions and the spectacular music artists borne from Australian soil.”

Instead, guests had to flee mudslides after waiting in hour-long lines for a drink.

What happened at the Hunter Valley festival this weekend?

Festival-goers thought they were embarking on a weekend of endless Chardonnay and dance music on an elegant estate which regularly hosts events.

Instead, well-dressed millennials, including former Bachelor contestant Sophie Tieman, were met with mudslides, hours-long lines for drinks and the headliner, Hot Dub Time Machine, pulling out at the last minute.

Guests quickly dubbed the day FYRE 2.0 on social media and called the evacuation "disgusting" and "dangerous."

How were people evacuated from the festival during the storm?

The day ended chaotically when thousands of guests were forced to quickly evacuate due to mudslides on Saturday night after a day of failed festival-going. The impromptu evacuation led to unsafe conditions when people stampeded. One man broke his leg.

A group of about twenty people unsuccessfully attempted to hide from the weather in a porta-potty before the official evacuation.

Of course, festival organizers can’t control the weather, but guests complained on Twitter that the day began with long lines and a policy that meant only two drinks could be bought at a time.

Even the VIP section reportedly had long snaking queues. That wasn’t the only problem - the sound apparently cut out frequently and guests complained that the food was still frozen.

Also the festival, which claimed it would serve “the best chardy ever,” didn’t have any Chardonnay available.

What have festival goers said about Wine Machine in the aftermath?

After the event, those who went demanded refunds for the day - many had spent $150 on tickets. Others reported running for their "lives" from "apocalyptic" conditions.

Much like the wine served at the event, so far it hasn't been a vintage few years for music festivals - unless you happen to be in the litigation game.

New York’s Panorama, which was originally billed as the East Coast’s answer to Coachella, was axed for the foreseeable future after being forced to cancel its first day last year because of weather concerns.

But with Coachella and Governors Ball on the way this spring, things could get back on track.

The most recently announced festival in the offing is Woodstock, which is returning to honor the 50th anniversary of the original festival.

Hopefully, it fares better than Fyre Fest, Wine Machine and Woodstock '99.