Iconic food and wine festival ‘scrapped’

AFTER 16 years, the iconic Noosa Food and Wine Festival on the Sunshine Coast is no more - at least under that name.

In a move to end its elitist image and become more inclusive of a wider demographic, the festival has been renamed Noosa Eat & Drink.

Festival organiser Sheridah Puttick said the decision was about reflecting the wider culinary and drinking offering in the area, which includes craft breweries, distillers and coffee roasters.

Noosa Food and Wine Festival has changed its name to Noosa Eat + Drink as part of a major rebranding.
Noosa Food and Wine Festival has changed its name to Noosa Eat + Drink as part of a major rebranding.

"The festival is about eating out and drinking out and socialising with friends so we decided to change the play on words," Ms Puttick said.

"We're a festival for everyone. We're just bringing the entire food community together to enjoy what we love."

Festival exhibitor and founder of Land + Sea Brewery and Noosa's first distiller Fortune Distilling Tim Crabtree said he was happy to see the name change to reflect the more diverse beverage offering and believed it would make the event more appealing to a younger audience.

"I think Noosa Food and Wine was semi-elitist in its clientele," he said.

"If you were 22 or didn't like wine you may not have wanted to go, but Eat and Drink Festival puts it to a broader demographic.

"I think it will be a more successful festival off the back of it from through how it's perceived."

The event will run from May 14-17 next year and feature a star line-up of chefs with a large Queensland contingency including Alanna Sapwell of Arc Dining, recently crowned number one in the state in The Sunday Mail's delicious.100, Jonathan Barthlemess of Greca and the upcoming Yoko Dining, Louis Tikaram of soon-to-be-launched Stanley and Ben Bertei from Longtime.

There will also be more music next year with an extra sound stage added for acoustic performers, plus pop-up restaurants from big interstate eateries.

The festival will also be moved to Noosa Woods to allow for an expanded line-up.