West Dorset Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have told KeeP 106 that they have sadly decided to cancel this year’s Weymouth Octoberfest beer festival held in Weymouth Pavilion’s Ocean Room in light of the current United Kingdom Covid-19 guidelines and social distancing policy.
Organisers, West Dorset CAMRA chairman Dave Harris and Rich Gabe, took the decision after discussing the possibility of running a festival with social distancing measures in place in light of the July 4th pub re-opening date.
Rich Gabe told KeeP 106 “Weymouth Octoberfest is one of two large beer festivals that we run and look forward to; however it seems irresponsible to put our volunteer staff and loyal customer base in a potential dangerous position. Part of running a festival is staff close inter-action with customers talking and advising on beer preferences alongside banter, fun and education while serving at the bar or going from table to table”. He went on to say “After last year’s Saturday evening sell out the popularity of Real Ale in Dorset is plain to see and we were hoping to present an ‘All things Dorset’ event showcasing Dorset brewers and cider makers; we hope to do this in 2021”
West Dorset Chairman Dave Harris said “It is a shame we have had to cancel, I’m sure our customers will understand and I look forward to returning to Weymouth Pavilion next year as it fits all our needs to run the festival. This is around the time of year as a local branch of CAMRA that we start to plan and publicise the event, so to avoid a sudden short-notice cancelation in the event of a second spike of Covid 19 we have taken this sad decision”
The branch has also taken the decision to not run any social activities be they mini-bus outings, train trips or monthly branch meetings for the foreseeable future until government social distancing measures are relaxed. This will be the first time in 21 years that a packed coach is not visiting Newton Abbot’s Tuckers Maltings festival and West Dorset CAMRA have never had to cancel a festival. A decision will be made later in the year regarding next year’s Dorchester Beerex.