The beginner's guide to Toast

By Tessa Johnstone

Toast Martinborough turns 21 this year, but for many, it will be their first time at the festival. Reporter Tessa Johnstone find out what first-time Toasters need to know.

Eat and drink

Toast Martinborough general manager Rachael Fletcher advises starting the day with a big breakfast and ensuring you drink water throughout the day. There is free water at all the vineyards and in the Square, so there's no excuse. The vineyards have committed this year to offer some low-cost, but still delicious meals for under $10 as well as the usual fare.

Make a plan

Getting to all 10 vineyards in a day is ambitious, said Mrs Fletcher, and it's best to find out what's on early and prioritise two or three. "You want to be able to sit down on the grass and tune into the ambience and scenery."

Use technology

Don't forget to charge your phone so you can take plenty of photos and keep in touch with friends. Mrs Fletcher said this year's festival-goers will be the first to use the Toast Martinborough app for iPhone and android - after downloading they will have the day's programme, any changes to plans as the days go on, and an interactive map of the vineyards at their fingertips.

Layer upon layer

Martinborough has a bit of micro-climate, said Mrs Fletcher, and the best way to dress is in layers. "It's great for growing grapes, but might be different from where you are at home - check the forecast and dress so you can layer up and layer down as appropriate."

No picnics

Taking your own picnic into a vineyard which is selling food is akin to taking a picnic to a restaurant, said Mrs Fletcher. Although it may seem like a good idea, organisers ask hampers are left at home and festival-goers make the most of the food on offer.


Toast Martinborough uses Toast francs - you buy Toast francs to spend during the day, so no need to bring cash. The francs are available at all vineyards. If you find you have some left over you can go back to the Square and exchange them for wine vouchers from one of the participating vineyards.


As well as food and wine, there will be plenty of music including: The Eastern, Twinset, Nairobi Trio, Rodger Fox Band, Uncle Monkey, The Warratahs, The Shenanigans, Brian Childs as Elvis, Fig Jam, The Beat Girls, Vinyl Bison and Contagious.

For the programme go to

By the numbers

At a typical Toast Martinborough event:

- 1,000 people are employed

- 9500 litres of wine are served

- 30,000 portions of food are consumed

- $2 million is generated for the local area

In 1992 it took six months to sell 5000 tickets - this year 10,000 tickets sold in a day.

More than a third of festival-goers have been to the festival at least five times before, and 80 per cent at least once.

Source: Toast Martinborough


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