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Dewsbury beer festival cancelled after volunteer issues

CALLED OFF The 2014 Dewsbury and Heavy Woollen Beer and Cider Festival has been cancelled.

CALLED OFF The 2014 Dewsbury and Heavy Woollen Beer and Cider Festival has been cancelled.

The organisers of Dewsbury’s biggest beer festival have cancelled the 2014 event due to a lack of volunteers.

Last year’s Dewsbury and Heavy Woollen Beer and Cider Festival attracted around 2,500 people.

But its growing success has created a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work for members of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Heavy Woollen branch.

Andy Kassube, one of the festival organisers, said work commitments of some of the key organisers meant more hands were needed.

“The planning usually starts around about November, even though it doesn’t happen until May,” he said.

“Staffing the festival itself wasn’t a problem. People can afford to put a few days aside and help with the set up which is important.

“When we first did the festival four years we had to take volunteers from other branches. The great thing in 2013 was we actually had enough from within our own branch to staff it.

“But it’s the marketing, the paperwork you have to go through, the selection and sourcing of the beers – it all takes a lot of work.”

When the festival’s cancellation was announced online, some Facebook users criticised organisers for not asking the wider community for help.

But Mr Kassube said: “We’ve had a lot of support from the people of Dewsbury. It’s what has disappointed everyone.

“One problem is the volunteers have to be CAMRA members because of the terms of the insurance policy. We couldn’t go out to the general public.”

The branch hopes to bring the festival back in 2015, providing more volunteers come forward.

Contact Paul Dixey on 01924 420029 to find out more about joining CAMRA.

 

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