Gather Round

Hahndorf Footy Festival and Mount Barker’ Footy Zone amongst great Adelaide Hills Gather Round event line up

Adelaide Hills is ready for action as the 2024 AFL Gather Round countdown begins. Expect new attractions, a return of fan-favorites, and nonstop entertainment aimed at boosting the region’s economic growth and visitor engagement.

As the countdown to the 2024 AFL Gather Round begins, businesses in the Adelaide Hills are preparing for an increase in visitors. This year’s event introduces fresh features to attract football enthusiasts, such as a free community event named ‘Gather in the Hills – Hahndorf Footy Festival’ based in Hahndorf’s main street and an AFL Family Zone at Mount Barker’s grounds.

Popular precinct, The Terrace, is set to return to Mount Barker’s Summit Sport & Recreation Park showcasing Adelaide Hills’ food, wine, and spirits on a larger scale. These festivities overlap with the sold-out AFL matches hosted in Mount Barker, the first being West Coast Eagles versus Sydney Swans, followed by Gold Coast Suns against GWS Giants.

Stemming from the thousands of fans who travel to South Australia for Gather Round annually, the official 2024 AFL Gather Round Sherrin has revealed its design including badges and postal stamps from all host venues. Increased and enhanced football activities within Adelaide Hills are projected to stimulate visitation and spending within the region. Last year’s event generated over 25,000 visitor nights outside Adelaide and a single match in Mount Barker aided in injecting $2 million into the Adelaide Hills’ economy.

The inaugural Gather Round was a monumental success, bringing in more than 268,000 spectators across all nine matches. More than 40,000 fans travelled from interstate, with over 80,000 attending the Footy Festival at Elder Park. The overall economic contribution of the 2023 event amounted to $83 million.

Gather in the Hills, a two-day community event at Hahndorf Academy lawns, is slated for the 6th and 7th of April. The aim of the festival is to draw football enthusiasts into local businesses by offering a variety of activities such as community arts, live music, free family activities, and appearances by players.

In addition, a newly established AFL Family Zone awaits the younger football fans in Mount Barker. Activities include a mini football oval for playing NAB AFL Auskick, footy skill games, encounters with mascots, and a dedicated chill zone.

For pre-match entertainment, Australian indie rock band The Jungle Giants and electronic music duo The Presets are scheduled to perform for the Gather Round crowd at Adelaide Oval on Thursday and Saturday night respectively. Following the Collingwood versus Hawthorn match, a special DJ set from AFL players Josh Rachele of the Adelaide Crows and Aliir Aliir of Port Power will take the stage at the free Gather Live concert.

Additions to the Gather Round festivities guarantee a more engaging experience for fans, and with all that’s new, businesses and locals alike can look forward to another fantastic AFL season.

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