Cheers as beer festival is saved

A previous Lytham Beer Festival at Lowther Pavilion
A previous Lytham Beer Festival at Lowther Pavilion
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A beer festival which attracts hundreds of visitors to the Fylde coast has been saved.

However, The Lytham Beer Festival will have a new home for this year’s event – Ansdell.

Three months after it was announced the event was off because of problems with its traditional venue Lowther Pavilion, Fylde Rugby Club has come to the rescue.

Organised by the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch of CAMRA, the festival will be held over the weekend of October 27-29 and CAMRA branch spokesman Russell Cobb said: ““We are delighted that the festival is back on.”

The festival, which will feature more than 100 beers and ciders as well as live entertainment, will be the ninth Lytham event organised by CAMRA and the last one, at Lowther last autumn, attracted more than 1,200 people.

This year’s return there was originally set for early next month but was called off in May as a result of refurbishment work at the venue.

Fylde Rugby Club’s offer to step in as this year’s new venue came about after they read of CAMRA’s plight in the Express.

The club has held successful Oktoberfest beer showcase events for the last two years, was in the process of looking at arrangements for this year and felt the clubhouse in Blackpool Road, Ansdell would be the ideal replacement venue for the CAMRA festival.

“We were sorry to hear of CAMRA’s problems in the Express and offering our premises as a venue for this year seemed the perfect fit for both parties,” said Fylde Fylde commercial manager Richard Kernot.

“Oktoberfest has gone well for the past two years but there is a lot of work attached to arranging such events and we were just in the process of making plans for this year when this opportunity came along.

“CAMRA’s experience and expertise in organising such events will be very welcome indeed and we hope it all goes really well.

“The attendances at Oktoberfest were encouraging but that was held over match weekends, when our members would have been very much involved anyway.

“The dates for the CAMRA Festival don’t coincide with a match so we hope to see many new visitors and that they really enjoy the facilities.”

Russell added: “We are extremely grateful to Fylde Rugby Club, who have been very welcoming in offering us their clubhouse.

“Our representatives have visited the venue and have stated that this is a fantastic site, which can hold even more people than before and also accommodate live music which will in place on the Friday and Saturday evening.

“We expect to putting on over 100 beers and ciders as usual and confident that this will be another great event.”

The Festival will run from 5 to 11pm on Thursday, October 27 and noon to 11pm on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. There will be substantial admission discounts for Fylde members as well as CAMRA members as well as holders of NUS student cards.

The Festival has been staged at Lowther since 2007, missing just 2013 when CAMRA and the Lowther management failed to agree a deal for the use of the venue.

When it returned in 2014, more than 1,000 people attended over the three days and Russell said: “It was as if we had never been away.” Attendance figures for 2015 then showed an increase of around 200.