Organisers cancel 2020 St Albans Beer Festival to focus on recovery of local pubs
- Credit: CAMRA
Organisers have cancelled this year’s St Albans Beer Festival to focus their efforts on the recovery of local pubs following the coronavirus pandemic.
The popular festival, organised by the South Hertfordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), is traditionally held each September at The Alban Arena.
However, the 2020 St Albans Beer and Cider Festival – which would have been the 25th held in the city – will not take place, its organisers have announced.
The real ale festival will now skip a year and not take place again until 2021.
Although it is possible that social distancing measures currently in place may be lifted or relaxed by September, the difficult decision to call off the festival has been taken at this stage, recognising the devastating impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the local pub trade.
Festival organiser John Bishop said: “While many things are uncertain about the current situation, one thing we can be sure of is that the forced closure of pubs has put their future at great risk.
“The festival is organised entirely by volunteers and is a huge collective effort.
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“While this wasn’t an easy decision for the organising committee, we are all pubgoers and enthusiasts first and foremost.
“After a lot of discussion we all agreed that, once the lockdown is eased, we want to spend the rest of 2020 putting 100 per cent of our efforts into helping pubs get back on their feet.”
In place of the usual extravaganza featuring more than 400 beers and ciders, CAMRA is hoping to organise smaller scale events later this year to celebrate great beer, as well as showcase St Albans’ excellent pubs.
The team is also planning for an even bigger and better event back at the Arena in September 2021.
“Sometimes it takes being deprived of something to realise just how important it is,” added John Bishop.
“We invite anyone who is missing their local pubs over this period to join CAMRA, and get involved in the fight to safeguard this crucial part of our society and culture for the long term.”
Updates about all future events will be published on the St Albans Beer and Cider Festival’s pages on Facebook and Twitter.
To find out more about CAMRA or to join, see www.camra.org.uk