The 20th Wedmore Real Ale Festival
The 20th Wedmore Real Ale Festival
We finally pulled it off, the belated 20th Wedmore Real Ale Festival, which had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic finally went ahead safely this year and we are delighted to say was a great success. Like 2019, it was held again on the Glebe Field site, which allowed for an open sided marque to provide a very safe venue with plenty of fresh air to flow across the site. We had a range of food and a gin bar to give our visitors plenty of choice, whilst on site.
Talking of choice, this year, we had our biggest selection of drinks, consisting of 89 different ales, 6 craft ales, 20 ciders and 5 wines to give a whopping total choice of 120 different drinks. During the weekend, over 6,500 pints were poured and 246 bottles of wine and prosecco were drunk, during our most popular festival yet, with over 2000 people attending.
There was a great music line-up again this year with the Bee Skas kicking us off with their ever-popular two-tone classics on Friday night. Saturday’s live music came from Cross the River, Kindred and Mantawrays before our headline band Abba Revival, the number 1 tribute act for the on trend Swedish supergroup performed a back catalogue that drew in our largest crowd yet and kept them dancing for their first song to their last. As well as all the live music, we had DJ Olly from Enhanced Entertainment ending both nights with more dancefloor belters.
This year’s Sunday raffle’s takings was a record breaking £2,025 with the top prize being a trolley of 100 cans and bottles of beer kindly donated by Pitchfork Brewery. The auction alone made £8,307 which includes another record-breaking £2,810 raised for the festival’s finale, the ‘Beer Bucket Challenge’. This saw the following local participants getting doused in a lovely cocktail of the remaining ale by those who clearly cared:
|1. Charlotte Cundy
2. Emily Mulliner
3. Emma Andrews
4. Lexie Gower
5. Linda Moorcroft
6. Shannon Loughrey
7. Sarah Love
8. Dave Powell
9. Finn Cavanagh
10. Nick Munyard
11. Pip Nicholls
12. Matt Lloyd
13. Simon Tremlett
Many thanks to all of our brilliant sponsors, prize donators and volunteers for their continued support and for working hard to help us make the 2021 festival the best yet!
We celebrated another record year of ale drinking and fundraising on the 2nd October, with the organisers pouring out £20,000 in donations to local worthy causes.
Some 16 organisations were handed cheques at the annual Presentation Evening at Wedmore Village Hall. The cheques were presented before 100 people made up of the successful beneficiaries, organisers past and present, volunteers and sponsors, who gathered to celebrate a fantastic comeback year for the 20th festival.
This year’s fundraising was the most successful yet, surpassing 2019’s total of £19,000 and bringing the total amount of money raised for local causes over the festival’s 20-year history to a whopping £226,320.
The beneficiaries for 2021 include Children's Hospice South West, Weston Hospicecare, Weston-Super-Mare Samaritans, Somewhere House (Somerset) Limited, Wedmore First School PTA and Wedmore & Axbridge Community Health Fund.
‘We are delighted that the festival was so successful that we can give away £20,000 on the 20th anniversary of the festival,’ said James Turbitt, a WRAF committee member. ‘It was especially gratifying after having to postpone our 20th festival by a year due to the pandemic. Everyone welcomed the return of the festival with open arms, helping make it one of the largest local social events in Wedmore. We’ve had some great feedback from our guests on the new site , the food stalls and the Ginjar gin bar.’
James added: ‘Deciding on where and how much to donate is a difficult decision and one the committee takes very seriously, as there are so many worthy causes. Giving out the cheques makes all the hard work in running the festival more than worthwhile.
‘This fundraising feat would not be possible without our sponsors and our committed and enthusiastic team of volunteers who help bolster the organising committee to keep the festival running smoothly: those 6,500 pints and 246 wine and prosecco bottles don’t pour themselves!’
The complete list of 2021beneficiaries can be found here
The donation to Wedmore PTA includes their £750 share of the takings from the festival raffle, which they helped to run and generate a record breaking £2,025 worth of takings.
Dates for your diaries: next year’s festival will be running from 9th – 11th September 2022. We will keep you posted on its developments via our Facebook page.
To keep up to date with all festival news please like our Facebook page @wedmorerealalefestival, follow us on twitter @WedmoreRealAle
We look forward to seeing you all again next year.