Festival Organiser's Aide Memoire
This is a first draft; please let us know
if you have any further suggestions or comments
Attend other festivals to see what is possible and what is done right
Talk to other festival organisers (CAMRA, pub or local hall)
Plan your festival in detail, a long time in advance.
Allocate areas of responsibility to specific individuals, and keep on
top of progress.
This is vital to the success of the event.
Consider every possibility.
Use press releases and stories as well as paid advertising in local papers
and CAMRA newsletters.
Local paper, radio, posters, flyers should all be considered.
Seek support from other organisations such as CAMRA, Round Table, sports
clubs, council etc.
Ensure that at the very least, the local newspaper and the CAMRA newsletter
and web-site carry the basic information about your festival well in advance.
Consider setting up your own web-site.
Check Licence requirements.
Talk to the Fire Service about the fire limit and fire safety issues.
Talk to Local Authority Health & Safety Officer.
Consider the site critically for suitability for the event.
Bar Counter needed.
Length of occupation of the site must be sufficient to allow for stillaging
of the cask beers early enough to settle and the taking down.
Insurance must be held.
Security (of the beers before the event and of the site and attendees
during the event).
Tables & Chairs.
Stands for attractions.
Games equipment and space.
Toilets, washing facilities.
Avoid clashes with other festivals and other significant events within
Can provide advice, publicity, staff and customers.
Budget & Financial
Budget needs to be conservative. There must be a low attendance contingency
Barrellage should be estimated conservatively, based on length of the
Entry fee or not?
Pre-sale of tickets?
Tokens or cash at the bar? Consider security aspects of cash handling.
Pricing policy; aim to match local pub prices, and make lower strength
beers cheaper than stronger ones.
Consider 5p price banding.
Sponsorship of barrels, glasses etc. can be a useful source of income.
Consider involving a Charity. This will encourage helpers, sponsors, press
and attendees, as well as benefiting a good (possible local) cause.
Try to make the event appealing to a wide audience; beer lovers may not
Food (consider involving local farmers, butchers, whole food outlets,
to arrange food tastings etc; Make the event a food and beer festival
to widen the appeal.)
Provide stands for other bodies to provide income and interest.
Tie in with other events such as a car boot sale, sports events, well-dressing,
May Queen etc.
Talk to outside bodies and arrange a Classic car meet, cycling or hiking
Choice & Range of beers
(This should be wide enough to be interesting, within the planned barrellage.
To enlist the support of CAMRA, no lagers, keg beers or pasteurised bottles
should be sold. We recommend the range includes a mild, a stout, a wheat
or fruit beer, a pale refreshing ale for lager drinkers, and a mix of
strong and session bitters. Cider should be considered. Soft drinks and
water should be provided for staff, drivers, children and other non-drinkers.
If there is an on-site bar, careful consideration should be given to closing
it for the duration to avoid competition.)
Talk to CAMRA, brewers, free houses and wholesalers about supplies. Some
discounts may be available.
Cellarmanship and bar manager; who looks after the beers, who holds the
Talk to an experienced licensee for general advice.
Stillaging is needed for casks (Plan your cask handling methods, too).
How long is the beer stillaged for?
Glasses have to be supplied, washed and disposed of if broken.
The bar counter itself, hand pumps or gravity dispense? Taps, lines, pegs,
cleaning materials etc.
Beer Cooling methods must be considered.
Need enough to cover the bar, other attractions, entry, security, first
aid, cleaning etc.
Setting up and taking down also need suitable numbers.
Training, First aid and washing facilities.
Programme; if you have one, it should include at least
a beer list with tasting notes, a short piece from CAMRA, reference to
the food etc.
Transport; where do the customers come from? Talk to local
bus or train operators. In extreme circumstances, consider a minibus service,
although this carries obvious financial risks.
Signage on site; visitors should be able to find toilets,
food, first aid, fire extinguishers, emergency exits etc.
The festival should be highly visible to passers by; banners can be displayed
outside the property.
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