Tuesday, January 2, 2024

News: Organisers warn that 2024 Rotherham beer festival "may be last"


Organisers of The Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival are again warning that this year could be the last, as rising costs make charity events of this scale more and more unviable.

Starting at Oakwood School in 1992, the event has gone on to become the largest indoor beer festival outside of London.

Usually attracting over 5,000 people to the Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham, proceeds from the festival are used to support the work of local charities. In recent years, the Rotherham Cancer Care Centre.

A post on social media from the organisers said this week: "We are sad to announce that the 2024 Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival may be our last. Unfortunately times have been hard for all business over the last few years and that has seen an increase in prices and a drop in sponsorship.

"We have always prided ourselves on being affordable for you all and have not wanted to over charge for drinks or entry, aiming to be competitive with what you pay for a pint down at your local or how much you pay to get in to other beer festivals. We have increased our prices accordingly over the last few years but unfortunately we don’t think we’ll be able to continue to do so and stay competitive.

"Ultimately, this is a charity beer festival. All profits made go to Rotherham Cancer Care Centre and that means that any losses are also covered by them. It is not sustainable and so we have made the tough decision that if things do not improve in 2024 that this year will be our last.

"We hope that everyone will get behind us this year and make it a success. Please come along, bring as many friends as you can and have a great night and help us raise as much money as possible for Rotherham Cancer Care Centre. If anyone is interested in sponsorship please get in touch and we are happy to tailor a package to suit you."

A similar warning was made during preparations for the 2020 festival, which eventually was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event relies on the work of volunteers and needs to hire the venue for the whole week in order to set up. The costs are described as "enormous" with margins "getting smaller each year."

Big price increases to cover costs have been discounted.

The festival combines a diverse range of over 150 beers, ciders, wines and gins, including vegan friendly and gluten-free brews, with great live music. The events usually have a theme, with 2022 used as an opportunity to pay tribute to the efforts made by front-line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and 2023 celebrating all things Yorkshire.

Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival website

Images: Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival / facebook / All About You Photography


Anonymous,  January 2, 2024 at 1:43 PM  

Surely as it raises money for charity,Magna could allow use for a very low cost or even nothing, would be good publicity for Magna and charity would benefit, win-win.

Anonymous,  January 2, 2024 at 3:06 PM  

May be the cost of energy for Magna that's the problem ......was warm last year but previous years lots of complaints of how cold it was.

Jez January 2, 2024 at 5:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous,  January 2, 2024 at 8:13 PM  

Jez it does seem to be the organisers that don't want to increase entrance and beer prices....I'd guess a lot of people wouldn't mind the extra cost as it is a pretty good event although I did prefer the days at Oakwood personally.

Jez January 3, 2024 at 7:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous,  January 6, 2024 at 6:27 AM  

Don't forget Magna is also a charity, any money they raise is to keep themselves running not to make a profit.

Anonymous,  January 7, 2024 at 4:18 PM  

Reading a thread on the Facebook page of the festival a few previous volunteers are placing the blame firmly at Magnas door.

Anonymous,  January 14, 2024 at 7:09 PM  

Cant end how will Chantry win any "awards"

Anonymous,  January 16, 2024 at 3:13 PM  

Sounds as though you are a bitter man.

Anonymous,  January 16, 2024 at 7:50 PM  

More a Stout fella

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