Honky Tonk Heaven
The Grace Emily Hotel – second event March 2nd
(Reviewer: Sarah List)
Honky Tonk Heaven is the brainchild of Weildickart Events, an Adelaide based group that’s dedicated to showcasing all the good things about classically vintage Americana.
Honky Tonk Heaven is the name of the band pulled together for these Fringe events, comprising The Heggarties, Mark Bandick (lead singer/guitarist of bluegrass band The Cherry Pickers) and others, but the event was much more than just a music performance. This was an event for people who like it both ways – country AND western.
I couldn’t think of a better venue than the character-filled Grace Emily to play host to this immersive afternoon. Promising prizes to the best dressed attendees, ticket holders fully embraced the theme and came clothed in their best boots, fringed skirts and cowboy hats – Everyone was so adorably dressed and keen to make this a truly authentic experience.
The afternoon opened in the beer garden with an hour beginner’s class of Texas two step with Matty and Laura from Swing Out Adelaide. Their teaching style is breezy and light-hearted, opening with a twangy beginner’s track to help everyone get comfortable with the simple footwork. Before long, the crowd had advanced to a range of twirls and curls, ready for the live music of the evening.
A short interlude gave an opportunity to pick up event-matched Texan comfort food meal from the Bohemian BBQ food truck, and the Grace had put on some excellent drink specials featuring bourbon and margaritas, and a sweetly considerate virgin margarita for those on the wagon.
The dancefloor filled fast once Honky Tonk Heaven hit the stage, and they a tightly knit outfit complete with slide guitar and harmonic vocal. I had to duck out in the first music interlude in order to get to another review show, but I was sad to leave and luckily there’s a second opportunity on March 2. If you like your fringe events to be more than a sit down show, with a mix and match of music, dance and food, Honky Tonk Heaven might just be the perfect event.