Trouble brewing for beer festival

First published in News by

THE future of a popular beer festival is in doubt because a new organiser can not be found.

Banbury Beer Festival has been running for 12 years.

But it may be the 13th time unlucky because no one has volunteered to mastermind next year’s event.

The three-day event held in May, organised by the North Oxfordshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, attracts up to 1,000 beer enthusiasts from Oxfordshire and beyond.

It is the branch’s main annual fundraising event, usually making between £3,000 and £4,000 profit to go to the branch’s campaigning work, such as urging to Government to freeze beer duty.

Local charities also benefit from the May event, because drinkers donate unused beer tokens which are then turned into cash.

This year the Royal British Legion got a £450 bonus as a result.

For the past two years Yvonne Hallows has organised the festival but she has stepped down.

Branch chairman John Bellinger said: “It’s important that we find someone to lead our team of volunteers before early October, as we have to produce and submit a budget to Camra headquarters before the end of December and time is needed to do this.

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“The only stipulation for being considered for the role of festival organiser is that the person must be a current member of Camra, not specifically from the North Oxfordshire branch, although it's handy to live reasonably locally in order to carry out certain tasks, including attending planning meetings.”

The North Oxfordshire branch has 559 members, but at a recent meeting no one volunteered for the role of festival co-ordinator.

This year’s festival was held at the town’s Territorial Army Centre, off Oxford Road. A meeting to try to fill the festival role will take place on Monday, October 8, at the Bell pub, in Middleton Road, Banbury, at 8pm.

If no one comes forward to run the festival a decision will be taken to cancel next year’s event. Anyone who is interested in taking on the role should email Mr Bellinger at chairman@northoxfordshirecamra.org.uk

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