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 a full risk assessment of the festival for the period from setting up to taking down including: erecting the stillage, loading the barrels to and from vehicles and on and off the stillage, opening times to the public. You also need a wide range of paperwork from each of the parties involved, the caterers, security, marquee erectors, etc
  • Flyers and posters – design, production, ordering and distribution
  • Website – design and implementation, writing the content, online ticket sales (something we moved away from in 2014)
  • Publicity – writing for all the various publications such as What’s Brewing, Nottingham Drinker, Derby Drinker, RuRAD, All things Local, etc
  • Festival Glasses – these need to be designed, priced and ordered
  • Sponsorship – of the glasses, the beers, T Shirts and anything else of interest


There is a reason it takes nine months to plan a festival and in the grand scheme of things ours is a small festival.  Surprisingly few people realise the sheer amount of work involved or the relatively few people we have to undertake all these tasks (voluntarily) just to run it.  The bravery, hard work and commitment of those that do should not be underestimated and that goes for all festivals, not just ours.


Whilst we were in the middle of all of this planning, we were approached to get involved in another beer festival in Belper as part of the Belper Goes Green Eco festival.  Ironically it would be held at Belper Rugby Club, a venue we had previously looked at for our own festival.


We weren’t sure what they wanted or expected us to do or that we could cope with the extra workload on top of what we already had but we agreed to hear them out and a few of our members attended one of their meetings to suss it out.


They reported back soon after and we felt we could work something out that would be mutually beneficial for all of us.  We also hoped to use Belper Goes Green in May as a good means to advertise our main festival at Strutts that would be held literally just across the road in September.


This ended up being a success with a good turnout and very little beer or cider left by 9pm on the Sunday evening.  We had also managed to sign up a few new CAMRA members at our membership stand and generate some interest in our main festival.


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