*Photo Credit: Pat Stevenson

Ever seen a train of grown adults sliding down a muddy hill like it was the Typhoon slide at Wet n’ Wild, all the while clutching bottles of the finest Rose the Hunter Valley has to offer?  If your answer was no, you probably weren’t at the NSW leg of the Hot Dub Wine Machine tour at Hope Estate on Saturday. With a tasty lineup, a gorgeous location and extremely decent ticket prices, it was unlikely the day would be anything but a squelchy, debaucherous ball.

Sydney producer Tom Loud (AKA Hot Dub Time Machine) is well known for consistently delivering stellar live performances that are near impossible not to enjoy. Last year he debuted the Wine Machine tour in SA and was joined by the likes of Client Liason and Bag Raiders. This year would prove to be an event not to be missed; come rain, shine or mud.

The Hunter region had enjoyed some extremely wet days leading up to the festival, and although the sun did appear during the occasion, it did little to prevent the grounds of Hope Estate from fast becoming a Woodstock-esque battleground from which no punter was spared. It seemed to matter little to the crowd, who were already in high spirits as they entered the grounds in hoards.

Sydney DJ SPORTS was first on the decks, serving up a house set that would be the preface to a day of great beats and tasty wine. There was nothing but good vibes coming from the crowd, consisting of a mixed bag of young partiers keen for the music, wine connoisseurs keen to perch on the hill with a picnic blanket and cheese hamper, and locals who were there to watch the spectacle unfold.

The fine ladies from Glitoris Glitter had a tent with all the glitter a festival goer could ever want at the ready, creating gorgeous glittery masterpieces on the faces and bodies of revellers, that every attendee- be glittered or not- would find in their hair for days to come.

By the time Crooked Colours and Paces hit the stage, the party was well underway. Crooked Colours delivered an energetic set while Paces demanded more from the throng, bringing guests Nyne and Guy Sebastian out for their collaborations (‘Savage’ and ‘Desert’, respectively), for a gumboot stomping performance that included a troupe of dancers in Paces merch with an impeccably choreographed routine.

Next up were Melbourne indie-tronica darlings Miami Horror, whose hits ‘Sometimes’, ‘Real Slow’ and ‘Holidays’ were received with gusto (and more gumboot stomping) from an increasingly sloppy crowd.

The atmosphere during the wait for PNAU to take to the stage was steeped with anticipation and wild excitement. It would be, after all, their first live show in close to six years. With a fresh and wildly popular new single under their belt, they charged out and gave a power-driven performance so tight you’d think they’d never left. It was at this point punters could be seen painting themselves with mud as PNAU blasted through hits ‘Embrace’, ‘With You Forever’ and of course ‘Chameleon’, which was perhaps the largest amount of people singing along to a song they didn’t know the words to in Australian music festival history.

If PNAU were a tough act to follow, Brissy native Young Franco was the man for the job. Sailing through an infectiously stacked set no one could help dance to including his new single ‘Drop Your Love’, Franco kept punters on their toes start to finish as they became increasingly filthy, inebriated and excited for the main event, Mr Tom Loud himself.

The sun had long set over the picturesque Hunter Valley hills, the same faces that had been only hours ago adorned in glitter were now caked in mud, any ideas of festival glam long forgotten.

It was now time for the audio-visual smorgasbord that is a Hot Dub Time Machine show. There’s something magical about a Hot Dub show, similar to the vibe at decade themed club nights but better elevated. There wasn’t one song or decade that wasn’t received with an ecstatic screaming back of lyrics and the excitement that comes with remixing familiar, but classic tunes. The Beatles, Europe, Spice Girls, Rihanna – to mention a few, fleshed out the veritable feast for the senses that was Hot Dub’s set. Giant, luminescent beach balls bounced around the crowd as wine bottles were waved in the air, inhibitions be damned.

One can only wistfully dream of what next year holds for Hot Dub Wine Machine if 2017’s instalment is anything to go by. You can still nab tickets for the Yarra Valley, Somerset Valley and Swan Valley dates at the Hot Dub Wine Machine website– the previous shows all sold out so don’t wait- no sommelier of good wine or good music would want to miss this.