Beer; yep, like that. Festival; like that too. Devizes; ah, it be alright. 7th July 2018; save date, but be warned, buy advance tickets for The Devizes Beer Festival at the Wharf, it’s more organised these days, I think, and more popular, still plenty of beer though I hope. When are tickets available? Full of valid questions today aren’t you? Chill out and have a beer dude.
This is Devizes CAMRA we’re talking about, the campaign for real ale. Answer: right after the Seend Beer Festival, obviously. Seems the guys at CAMRA’s body clocks operate according to beer festivals, and why not? It’s what they’re good at. Seend’s Beer Festival is on 5th May, just so you know and tickets for this are available from the CAMRA website now.
I’ll be honest here, as always, I don’t know what else to say. I could bore you silly with a personal anecdote of a Devizes Beer Festival of yore, but such tales are vague and second-hand. Apparently neighbours were unimpressed when, after rolling down Dunkirk Hill on Shank’s pony, empty souvenir beer mug in hand, I serenaded my love from below the window; don’t believe a word of it.
So despite it always being an overwhelming day, information on the Devizes Beer Festival is ambiguous at the best of times; they usually have live music, they normally have a massive selection of locally sourced beers, ciders and ales. Perhaps I’ll update this if and when more information is released, but, there’s beer; what else do you need to know?
One thing which sprung to light via a Facebook post by CAMRA organiser Don Jones, who must be said has an uncanny resemblance to Windy Miller. It seems previous years has seen people smuggling their own drinks into the festival and this is simply not cricket. “We used to turn a blind eye to the odd person in a group of ticket holders but the situation has got out of hand,” Don explained, even having gate-crashers setting up a gazebo last year and drinking cans of lager.
“Ticket holders have paid for the entertainment whilst they’d contributed SFA,” Don continued. Now I know how it goes after a bevy or three, rules tend to flake. I confess, I do recall retaining my glass while nipping to the loo across no-man’s land, (the sprint across the alcohol-free zone car park to the public bogs,) when the law was to leave your mug on a table provided, but my rebellious nature stopped at the urinal! Besides there’s a sense of irony in having the alcohol-free zone in a town built on beer production, let alone allowing a beer festival, surely?
Still, there’s going for a piss and then there’s taking the piss. Please respect the wishes of CAMRA, who make huge efforts to put this event on, and only drink beer bought at the beer festival; that’s the whole flipping idea of it for crying out loud into a tankard.
“This year we’re planning to beef up the security and not allow anyone at all to consume any alcohol on site that wasn’t bought at the festival,” Don finished, probably not as fast as he downs a half of Devitera, “We’ll make sure wine or something is available for those who want to accompany beer drinkers and are happy to contribute to the costs. This might sound draconian,” (sounds reasonable to me Don) “but things have been getting out of hand and we have to sort it out now.”
For more information on CAMRA and the Beer Festivals please contact them direct, rather than commenting here, I know nothing more and besides, my beer is getting warm.