Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 9

Part 9: Everything Else and More   Apart from the main things I’ve mentioned thus far, there are so many other elements involved in arranging a festival.   Site plans – the actual drawing of the layout and logistics which is constantly changing and being updated Health and Safety – CAMRA HQ and our insurers expect a full plan to be filled out which includes […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 8

Part 8: A Programme Of Our Own   In the first four years we had always used Matelot to create and print our festival programme.  We would write some content, supply them with the beer and cider lists, something on membership, a front cover image and they would take care of the rest.   They would procure the advertising, deal with the design and arrange […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 7

Part 7: Catering   Planning the catering at the festival is another important part.  We always look to provide a wide range of quality food to suit different palates.  Ultimately you don’t want customers to leave your site, get food elsewhere and then decide not to return.  It also needs to be food that is easy to eat rather than having to sit down with […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 6

Part 6: Green Light We received budget approval from CAMRA HQ and were now in a position to move forward with planning.  It had come with a note of warning, however, as they were concerned that a third different venue in as many years could have a detrimental effect.  We shared some of their concerns but were determined to make it work or die trying! […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 5

Part 5: The Budget   One of the main meetings before too much of the planning gets underway revolves around the budget.  Full details of anticipated income and expenditure  have to be submitted to CAMRA HQ for approval before the festival can go ahead including the costs for hiring security guards, first aiders, fencing, purchase of festival glasses , entertainment, publicity and advertising – the […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 4

Part 4: That’s Entertainment (or not)!   The main area of much discussion and debate at this stage (aside from the venue) is entertainment.  Within our committee there were people with two very opposing views at different ends of the spectrum.  One felt that people attend beer festivals purely for the beer, not the music, and that the entertainment budget should be minimal.  The other […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 3

Part 3: Onwards and Upwards   Having only a short time to decide on a venue before we needed to submit a budget to HQ for approval, we considered our options carefully.  The Rugby Club would have meant an event mainly or entirely in a marquee which would leave us susceptible to the elements yet again.  There were also the problems of flooding as that […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 2

Part 2: The Aftermath & Time For A(nother) Change?   Once a festival has finished the next stage is the wash-up or follow-up meeting.  The festival committee and some of the workers gather for a formal meeting to dissect every piece of the festival and work out what went wrong, what went right and try to understand why.  It is the start of the planning […]

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Anatomy of a Beer Festival Part 1

The End is the Beginning is the End?   Thinking back to Sunday 15th September 2013 (the final day of our 2013 festival) the main thing I remember is the look of dejection on the faces of our staff (all unpaid volunteers).  Just over 9 months of hard work had culminated in a disappointing festival with numbers at around two thirds what we had budgeted […]

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The Anatomy of a Beer Festival Series

In the run up to the festival I will be posting a new blog series called the Anatomy of a Beer Festival.  It will describe a lot of the processes and behind the scenes work that goes into running a beer festival, most of which go unnoticed by the general public and the average CAMRA member. Some of it will touch on events that occurred […]

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