The Campaign for Real Ale has announced that it will be cancelling its flagship event the Great British Beer Festival, due to take place from 4-8 August at Olympia in London. The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s decision to restrict all movement outside the home to combat the current Coronavirus crisis.
The festival, which features over a thousand different beers and regularly attracts nearly 40,000 visitors through the door, has been running for over 40 years. Completely managed by volunteers, it is the largest beer festival across the UK and a fixture in many beer-lovers diaries – and CAMRA is determined it will be back better than ever next year.
CAMRA announced last week that it would be cancelling events and beer festivals between now and the end of June, a move that included its Members’ Weekend, AGM & Conference in York (3-5 April) and the inaugural Great Welsh Beer Festival (23-25 April).
CAMRA will provide a full refund for anyone who has bought an advanced ticket this year within 5-10 working days. This will happen automatically with no further action required.
Catherine Tonry, Great British Beer Festival organiser said: “Whilst we hope that restrictions on movement will ease up by August, it is clear we will not have the resources available to organise an event this size during the current crisis.
“The decision to cancel the Great British Beer Festival has not been taken lightly. We were hoping to wait until closer to the time to avoid disappointing our volunteers and the public, however we can no longer delay.
“We know this will incredibly disappointing for many of our volunteers who regularly travel from all corners of the country to help pull pints throughout the week. We want to thank them all for their help each year and hope they will be able to join us once again in 2021.”