PRESS RELEASE – DECEMBER 2018 – SLIMBRIDGE BEERFEST TO END?

The Slimbridge Beerfest, held in June every year since 2002, is under threat and that held in 2018 may be the last. The charity event has been very successful and has contributed significant sums to local scouting.

Slimbridge Beerfest has built a very good reputation providing a great selection of beers and cider, good music and a comfortable environment. There are loyal supporters who we have seen on many occasions. But they alone do not make the event financially viable.

The future is looking poor for two reasons. First the nature of event attendance has changed in recent years. Until a few years ago the Beerfests had significant advance ticket purchases but today it seems people plan their attendance only a couple of weeks before the event and this is significantly affected by the weather forecast. 2016 had rain and the event made a loss whilst 2018’s better weather saw a small surplus. Slimbridge Beerfest set out to compliment not to compete with other events in the area with a maximum attendance of 1,000 to ensure that it provided a pleasant experience but in recent years several new events have started and there are only so many festivals people can attend.

Organising the Beerfest involves significant commitment in booking a marquee, hiring toilets and catering equipment, purchasing glasses food and drink etc etc. Without adequate advance booking a risk is being taken that can result in a loss – something that is not sensible for a charity based event to contemplate.

The second threat to the event is support to organise the event. The main organisers have arranged the event since it started. Much relies on them both in the planning, building and running of the event. Some are no longer living in Gloucestershire and others are concerned that their massive contribution to the event is not worth it for the risks associated with running it.

Whilst the event supports scouting, the scouting community of leaders is heavily committed in delivering a good range of activities for all scout sections. The current group of Beerfest organisers is a mix of leaders, parents and supporters but new members are needed if it is to continue.

David L’Oste Brown, Slimbridge Beerfest Chairman said “It was my original idea to use this event to financially support scouting and every scout in the Cotswold Vale Area has benefited from this. The many scouts that have travelled to Jamborees have particularly been supported by the funds raised. It is disappointing that we are not getting additional support and that changes in society are putting this event at risk but we must face up to this”

Stuart Cook, in charge of the Logistics for the Beerfest said “We have streamlined building and running Slimbridge Beerfest but it takes a significant amount of effort and this currently places a large responsibility on a small group of people. We know that we have a terrific reputation for the festival but it does need fresh support and an assurance that people will turn up and make it worthwhile.”

John Standerline, Slimbridge Beerfest’s Treasurer since the event began said “We will be sorry if the event has to cease. We have had massive support for the event from our suppliers and we thank them for that. We particularly thank the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust for their support without which Slimbridge Beerfest could not have operated.”

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Pictures from the 2017 event can be seen by clicking here.

Pictures from the 2016 event can be seen by clicking here.

The Beerfest site has plenty of parking.  There is no camping on site but accommodation is available locally for all budgets.

Since this is a charity event  we would welcome any donations you may wish to make.  The proceeds support Scouting in Cotswold Vale and charities in The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.  You can also show your support through sponsorship of a beer barrel, with the added incentive of free tickets.  Select ‘Supporting’ from the menu for more information.

Challenge 25 – If you look under 25 you will be asked to prove you are over 18. Only Photo IDs will be accepted.