AN extraordinary storm, complete with torrential rain, thunder and lightning, brought a premature end to Wine Machine at Pokolbin's Roche Estate last Saturday night.
Returning for its third year in the Hunter Valley, the festival formerly known as Hot Dub Wine Machine, drew a sold-out crowd and kicked off at 3pm when the mercury was pushing into the mid-30s.
It was always going to be a hot day of entertainment, and Mother Nature duly delivered the ultimate lightning showstopper, but although punters were forced to make a rather hectic exit at the end, spirits were far from dampened.
Happiness Is Wealth's groovy disco rock beats set the mood and opened the festival with a mix of their hit songs and renowned electronic guitar solos.
They then tested out some new material with the song New Romance which was greatly accepted by the ever-growing crowd.
Up next, was well-known Triple J host Alex Dyson. Sporting the new Matildas football World Cup jersey, Dyson was fully prepared to get the crowd moving in the 32-degree heat, even directing his very own "Alex Dyson Aerobics Class."
Hyping up the crowd was no hard task, remixing pop songs from 90 to 150 beats per minute, each with a new dance move to match.
With a change of pace came Sydney-born singer, Graace. Her sweet and soothing vocals on her cover of Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine and her potentially new EP Last Night relaxed the crowd into the late afternoon.
The mood was then kicked back up with Maitland DJ duo Kinder, who reignited the crowd with their electronic remixes of hit songs, a crowd favourite being Queen's We Will Rock You.
As the sun began to set, musicians took to the stage to start a long and suspenseful intro for Confidence Man.
The indie-electro act then exploded onto the stage to send the crowd into a frenzy with smash hits including Out The Window, supported with energetic and eccentric dance moves.
No stranger to the Australian music scene, the first of the headlining acts, Hayden James, opened with his new song Better Together, followed by his breakout track Permission to Love.
He was supported by thunderous cheers when announcing the upcoming release of his new album No Where To Go. He brought his set to an end with popular Duke Dumont remix Ocean Drive, which was the perfect segue into next act, The Presets.
Supported by an impressive lightning show over the Valley, the electronic dance music veterans did not disappoint.
The opening beats of their 2008 hit Talk Like That drew in the last of the remaining crowd. The duo pushed through a minor sound technicality mid-set and got the crowd back into business with Do What You Want and My People.
However, as the weather began to hit extreme conditions, The Presets were forced from the stage as organisers paused the event to assess the rapidly deteriorating weather situation.
Shortly after it was announced closing act, Hot Dub Time Machine, would not be performing due to safety concerns and the crowd was directed to make for the buses, or whatever means of exit they had at their disposal.
Overall, Wine Machine 2019 brought in a broad selection of music and wine lovers of all ages.
Although cut short by the unfortunate weather conditions the festival produced an enjoyable and relaxing day in the Hunter's picturesque vineyards.
The festival also released a statement in which it announced a possible complementary Hot Dub Time Machine make-up show for those who were disappointed by the cancellation.
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