First came the catastrophic disappointment and utter chaos that was the unravelling of the much-hyped Fyre Festival. Then came the hype of Netflix’s Fyre, which later also became embroiled in allegations of wrongdoing and greasiness. Now comes, thank the sweet lord of light, a fire festival that actually does live up to the hype: our very own Cabin Fever Festival, which is thankfully returning in July this year.
That’s right. The South West’s 10-day winter festival laden with adventure, seam-splitting amounts of food and fireside good times is back bigger and better than ever in 2019 – and you can be darn sure that the only cheese sandwiches you’ll be forced to survive off are the gourmet ones prepared by renowned local chefs at an epic Cheese Toastie Battle, which last year went a little like this.
Festival organisers Brianna Delaporte and Erin Molloy are promising to deliver the best of the Margaret River region winter vibes by way of “beautiful big red wines, sustainably sourced produce, hearty comfort food, beautiful landscapes, bonfires, dark brews and great live music.”
They may not be promising you Ja Rule or Major Lazer, but then, they’re also not enticing you to a remote island from which you cannot return for days with nothing but disaster-zone relief tents to sleep in and rye bread to eat.
The reality of Cabin Fever is, in fact, a much more enticing one. A range of intimate, rollicking food, wine and beer events at some of Margaret River’s best venues (think long-table dinners in barns and feasts in fairy-light-lit forests), set against the backdrop of the region’s stunning winter landscape. Some of last year’s most popular events will return again, including Fondue by the Fire at Howard Park, Blazing Brews at The Beerfarm and Sunday Yum Cha at Caves Road Collective.
This year's festival will also see a series of collab dinners. Vasse Felix and Long Chim will team up for The Muralist; a degustation that'll merge the best of Bangkok and Margaret River. Yarri Head Chef Aaron Carr and Snake and Herring's wine guy Tony David will take on Oakridge's Head Chef Matt Stone and Winemaker Dave Bicknell in Game On which, you guessed it, will feature plenty of game meats. Young George's Melissa Palinkas and Arimia Head Chef Evan Hayter are going to be going the Whole Hog for a sustainable degustation dinner. And there'll be five nights of Fervor and Arimia collab popups right in the heart of Margaret River.
In short: if you’ve got plans this winter, make new ones. If you don’t, get ready to put a hold on hibernation and join the party down south. Tickets are on sale now.
Image credit: G Becker