Raise a Toast to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia on Clapham Common - June 2009

Press Release

Toast Festival 2009 is the Northern Hemisphere's largest celebration of New Zealand, Australian and South African culture. It is an opportunity to experience a fantastic mix of the very best in local wine, food, music, sport and culture. This year sees the return of Toast Festival to the great outdoors as ex-patriots, Brits and inquisitive visitors alike descend upon Clapham Common, South West London in the height of summer from Friday, 26th June until Sunday, 28th June.

The polo is back at Toast with international matches kicking off each day in association with the Ascot Park Polo Club. Professional players representing New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will take on the Brits with expert commentary from world renowned Kiwi polo player and coach, Peter Grace. The teams will play three-aside arena style polo making for a more exciting, fast paced spectator sport and each game is divided into four, seven minute chukkas. After each match visitors bringing the best of true Kiwi, Aussie and South African fashion to the field will be rewarded with access to the VIP and Gold Tent enclosures. There will also be a chance to jump on a pony or crate, grab a mallet and practice their swing in 'Have A Go' sessions.

Other Antipodean treats throughout Toast include top headlining bands such as Kiwi icon, Dave Dobbyn, sporting heroes, wine tasting, traditional Aussie fare from John Torode and lessons from Kiwi BBQ gourmet Raymond van Rijk. Visitors will be enthralled by the authentic and breathtaking cultural performances from Maori Culture Group, Ngati Ranana, Aboriginal performers, Descendance, gumboot dancing and drumming workshops.

Not just for ex-pats craving some home-grown treats, Toast is also a great opportunity for tourists, travellers, culture junkies, sports fans, foodies and wine lovers to be educated in all things Southern Hemisphere.

Under new management this year, Louise Murie, Director of Go Ahead Events and Toast Festival 2009 comments;

It was important to us to take Toast back outdoors in the summer where it belongs. This year will see Toast go back to its roots with the return of International Polo matches each day, whilst maintaining Toast's heritage as the ultimate showcase of the superb wine, food, sport and music the Toast nations have to offer. We are gearing-up for another outdoor ticket sell out.

Toast South Africa - Friday 26th June

Toast South Africa is kicking off Toast Festival 2009 with a great range of top musical talent, gumboot dancing, drumming workshops, shopping, food and wine.

South Africa will challenge Great Britain on the polo field with players including South African Rod Gutridge and Tarquin Southwell representing the UK.

Headlining on the main stage this year is Goldfish, Cape Town's electronica phenomenon. Goldfish combine live instruments like double bass, saxophones, keyboards, flute, and vocals with samplers, effects and synths in an extraordinary show. They have opened for Fatboy Slim, Mr Scruff, The Audio Bullys, Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong and Stereo MC's, hitting a nerve on dance floors from Ibiza to Tokyo.

Visitors can also enjoy gumboot dancing, the traditional African dance performed by dancers wearing Wellington boots and pick up tips in drumming workshops.

The South African braai is famous the world over, so expect them piled high with traditional spicy Boerewors sausage, springbok kebabs, sosaties, ribs, and fresh fish. All washed down with New World wines from Stellenbosch to Constantia in the Western Cape.

Cricket enthusiasts are sure to be keeping a close eye on the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament this June with each Toast nation competing in the UK. South African cricketers and rugby stars will be on hand offering the chance to practice with a true international pro in the Sports Zone hosted by the Springbok Supporters.

Toast South Africa will open for visitors from 3pm until 8:30pm.

Toast New Zealand - Saturday 27th June

Firmly established on the New Zealand expat calendar, Toast New Zealand invites visitors to experience the best of Kiwi lifestyle, culture, food, sport, wine and music selling out year after year.

Visitors can expect more polo action when New Zealand players including Alex Parrot take on Britain in the morning.

Former international rugby player Zinzan Brooke is overseeing the festivities and will be in the Sports Zone offering tips to wannabe stars. The Beige Brigade, the world's largest supporters of Kiwi cricket will also be there giving visitors the chance to test their batting skills.

Entertainment kicks off with a bang when Maori Culture Group, Ngati Ranana take to the main stage with traditional songs and the world renowned Haka. Toast Festival is delighted to welcome New Zealand treasure and award winning musician, Dave Dobbyn to headline for his only European show this summer. Dave Dobbyn is celebrating 30 years as an acclaimed singer and songwriter and is sure to get the crowd going with hits from his recent album Anotherland performed with his road-honed band of six talented fellow Kiwis.

Dave Dobbyn will be joined at Toast New Zealand by Kiwi singer songwriter Jayson Norris who landed on UK shores just two years ago to make his mark on the British music scene. Combining his rich, earthy voice with a blend of soulful acoustic styles, Jayson Norris offers laid back, funk-inflected Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley inspired music.

A whole host of classic New Zealand dishes are on offer with barbeques loaded with New Zealand lamb burgers and piles of fresh green-lip mussels, corn fritters, pavlova and Hokey Pokey ice-cream. This will satisfy any Kiwi's yearning for home and give visitors a chance to sample local delicacies. Naturally in true Kiwi style these treats can be complemented with a glass or two of New Zealand wine, with over 100 varieties available. Budding sommeliers can learn more at the four wine theatres, which will run five half hour master classes throughout each day of Toast.

Toast New Zealand will open for visitors from 11am until 6pm.

Toast Australia - Sunday 28th June

Toast Festival 2009 will finish with a celebratory mix of Australian lifestyle, music, food and wine.

The day will start with a polo match between British and Australian players including James Wayland. After the game, experts from Ascot Park Polo Club will be on hand giving tips on how to master the polo mallet.

Descendance, Australia's finest indigenous cultural group will be livening up proceedings at Toast Australia with a dazzling show incorporating dance, music, didgeridoos, art and storytelling. The group has toured the globe accumulating a resume of live shows other artists could only dream about, including performances for The Dalai Lama and The Queen. Descendance will also host a cultural workshop giving visitors the chance to join in.

Toast Australia will be the ultimate warm-up for the legendary Ashes Test cricket series between England and Australia which is taking place in July across the UK. Fans are welcome to join Australian sporting heroes for some batting practice. This year's Sports Zone will also feature the interactive "Speed kick" and "Speed pass", designed to test your Aussie Rules and Socceroo's skills hosted by Aussie Rules UK, the main development body for Australian Rules Football in the UK.

John Torode, co-presenter of Celebrity Masterchef and Smiths of Smithfield will be cooking up a storm with Aussie dishes to die for. Visitors can expect to sample a wide range of local delicacies including BBQ lamb leg, venison burgers, Anzac cookies, Tim Tams and Hokey Pokey ice cream. There's enough treats to satisfy even the most steadfast Kath and Kim devotee.

Toast Australia will open for visitors from 11am until 6pm.

Ticket Information:

Toast South Africa: Friday 26th June 3pm - 8:30pm
£15 standard
£35 Gold Tent
£150 VIP Enclosure
Toast New Zealand: Saturday 27th June 11am - 6pm
£25 standard
£45 Gold Tent
£150 VIP Enclosure
Toast Australia: Sunday 28th June 11am - 6pm
£25 standard
£45 Gold Tent
£150 VIP Enclosure
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