Our corporate partner Aurizon have generously provided funds to transport guests to and from the main events and partner venues throughout the weekend – this is such an amazing gift for our community and we are truly grateful.
There is parking at all the venues if you decide to do your own thing over the weekend. Please drive safely and responsibly.
The FREE buses are available as follows…
Friday 20th October
From Hunter Tent Stay to Peterson House for the Bubbles & Beats Party from 6pm
From Peterson House to Hunter Tent Stay to get you home safe from 10pm
Saturday 21st October
From Hunter Tent Stay to Pokolbin from 9am to 3pm – Shuttle Service stopping at Tamburlaine, Drayton’s, Ivanhoe, Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen and Ben Ean (part of Petersons)
From Hunter Tent Stay to Tamburlaine for last tasting of the day and then the Party
From Tamburlaine to Hunter Tent Stay to get you home safe from 10.45pm until just after midnight – Shuttle Service
Sunday 22nd October
From Hunter Tent Stay to Ivanhoe Wines (where you can easily walk to Drayton’s & Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen from 11am
Last bus back to the campsite will leave Ivanhoe at 4.30pm and Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen at 4.45pm
Hunter Tent Stay are offering packages including breakfast from just $89 per person for the whole weekend and have glamping options available where someone else has put a tent up for you.
A full timetable of services provided that we have contracted Hunter Hopper to provide with funding from Aurizon will provided on arrival at the campsite.
On Friday, Saturday & Sunday we will be welcoming rainbow families of all shapes and sizes to Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen for a family lunch served picnic style on the grass (under cover or inside in the case of rain). There will be entertainment for kids of all ages and heaps of fun and games; fur babies welcome too.
Our friends at Macquariedale Organic Wines are supporting us with the event and will be releasing Say YES celebration bottles to support the LGBTIQ community. We will have limited edition Stunning Shiraz 2016 and Cheeky Chardonnay 2016 vintages for sale at just $7 glass or $35 a bottle to be consumed on-site.
You’ll also be able to purchase the specially commissioned bottles from Pokolbin Pride for delivery to anywhere in Australia very soon.
Pre-purchase your tickets for the Rainbow Family Lunches now.
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for helping to make the inaugural Pokolbin Pride a reality.
With 5200 followers on Facebook we saw almost 600 people come out to the Hunter Valley over the festival and 243 people along to the party on Saturday night featuring Sisco Electro, Luke Antony and DJ Dom De Sousa.
We are delighted to announce the dates for Pokolbin Pride #2 – Friday 20th October to Sunday 22nd October 2017. Make sure you are on the mailing list to receive up to date information about the schedule and early bird tickets.
As the Founders of the festival we have decided to launch two initiatives to keep the momentum going…
Pokolbin Pride Sundays at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen
every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm we are offering a share platter and two drinks for $45; we want to create a regular space for the LGBTI community in the Hunter Valley to hang out – friends and families welcome.
Rainbow High Teas at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen
Nan’s High Teas are one of our most popular items in the restaurant – from Thursday 10th November all our High Teas will be rainbow high teas and $2 from every sale will go directly into the Pokolbin Pride fund to help make the festival happen each year.
Of course the festival couldn’t have happened without the help of the local businesses that lent us their space, staff, creativity, enthusiasm, insights and financial support…
Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen, Hunters Quarter, The Log Press Cafe, The Cellar Restaurant, Blaxlands Inn and Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
How to get around…
Hunter Valley Hire Cars for travel in style and safety around the valley call 0498 492 539
Rover Coaches with services to and from Newcastle on Saturday & Sunday – book online
Have a wonderful Pokolbin Pride!
A note about the calendar
We have updated the festival calendar and removed some of the scheduled events that weren’t getting enough love.
Please appreciate that this is year one, with no council, regional government or tourist association funding so we cannot afford to run events that looked like they would be making a loss – this is a social enterprise and we want to make sure it’s a success so that we can get bigger in year 2, 3, 4 and beyond…
Here’s how it works…Come for 1,2,3,4 or all 5 days.
Everyday you’ll be welcome to visit any of the Hunter’s fantastic wineries and restaurants.
We are just in the process of finalizing a list of businesses that are supporting Pokolbin Pride and will publish it here very soon.
Free Activities – every day
1. Family & Pet Friendly Picnic Spaces at Eagles Rest and Tinklers – with ‘all-ages friendly entertainment’
2. LGBTI Art Exhibition at Tamburlaine
3. Markets at Draytons Family Wines
Ticketed events and entertainment (from $12.50)
Everyday and night you’ll find a wide range of opportunities to sample some of best of the Hunter’s wine and food with a LGBTI twist to it…
There’s a progressive comedy tour, hypnosis show, Drag Queen and King volley ball match, Sunday afternoon recovery party and a Gala Dinner.
We have organised dinners and canapé receptions with entertainment and speakers.
On Saturday 22nd October there’s a evening party hosted by Tatler’s Wines; free parking available.
We will be announcing more events and activities up until the 17th August. Then a downloadable calendar will be available here and printed calendars will be distributed by our partners and through LGBTI media and venues throughout Australia.
Matty and I were on our way back from a camping trip and visiting his Mum and Dad in northern NSW our first real ‘holiday’ since we moved to the Hunter Valley in July 2016.
We were chatting away about how proud we were of what we’d accomplished and sharing our mutual frustration that we hadn’t really spent enough time cultivating new friendships in our new home.
It was the weekend of Lovedale Long Lunch which sees up to 20,000 people a day visit seven wineries in the Hunter Valley.
“There should be a LLL for the gays” said Matty innocently “then we’d make some new friends”.
When we first launched the Facebook group ‘Pokolbin Pride‘ we both thought we’d end up hosting a lunch sometime at our restaurant, Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen, and connecting with some of the LGBTI locals that we knew were out and about but we just hadn’t met them yet.
What happened next was astonishing…
Overnight we gained about 400 followers, mainly locals, all voicing their excitement that someone was creating a gay and lesbian festival in the Hunter Valley
Not really knowing what to do next we said we’d announce the details of the festival when we hit 3000 followers (we thought this would kick the project into the long grass for a bit)
About 10 days later we’d notched up about 3100 followers
True to our word we’d did a quick sense check of what else was going on in the valley in the spring and found a ‘clean’ weekend (20th to 24th October 2016)
We now have a five day festival of LGBTI events and activities being hosted by us and a collection of other businesses in the Hunter Valley running as a social enterprise
Our ‘corporate’ kicked in and we created a survey to ask our audience what they wanted from a regional LGBTI event and we’ve shared the results with business community – Cessnock Council threw a business networking event so that we could share the story and more than 100 people showed up.
The outcome is that we’ve put together a calendar of events that the community said they wanted – this won’t be a Sydney Mardi Gras in the vines.
We have a number of free events including
a family and pet friendly picnic
an art exhibition
markets featuring LGBTI businesses and crafts alongside community groups and charities.
There’s entertainment from local and national talent starting at $12.50 a ticket and a host of spectacular dinners and parties to attend over the five days and nights.
Everything is going to have special LGBTI twist so expect performers popping up all over the valley.
A portion of every ticket sold and the overall profits from the festival will be shared with the LGBTI community through a good cause fund.
You can get involved by bringing your local or national business or community group along to the markets (apply here).