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Fanspiration: the iconic Forever Bury Beer Festival

This is a story from the SD archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The annual Forever Bury Beer & Cider Festival is held at the end of each season and Dave Giffard is one of the main men behind it. Here he discusses the main demands of organizing an event as big as a beer festival. Speaking of the timeline first, Dave comments that:

“The main part of the organisation entails several months of finding as many sponsors as possible and sourcing all the beers, ciders, bottles and entertainment plus pulling all the artwork together for the programme. This is often carried out by one person.

In March each year the festival starts to be advertised and when it comes to putting the festival together it becomes a four person job to execute. We spend 4 weeks getting out and about with posters and flyers all over the Greater Manchester area.

It takes roughly 6 days to get the rooms sorted and everything set up ready to start. Over the years the team have built up their own kit. During the festival, 55 real ales are offered – 25 on hand pump and the rest on tap. The festival also offers approximately 15 – 20 ciders and an extensive bottle bar for the 3-day event. Upon opening the doors more volunteers are required in order to man the entrance and various bars.”

Speaking to Dave, he comments that

“It has been the main fund raiser for the trust over the years and there have been 12 festivals held to date, all of which have raised the trust £146,904.00. This money is then split out between several charities and partially reinvested back into the Bury Youth set up.”

If you are considering holding such an event, Dave offers three top tips from his experience:

1. Give yourself plenty of time – It takes us a year to put together.
2. Try and get local breweries involved as they may be able to source beers for you.
3. Provide a range of sponsorship options and contact every business in your area to try and get them involved.”

Lastly, Dave offers some final words on running such an event:

“Make sure to have fun and one thing we do is ask people to turn up on the Saturday afternoon session wearing their club colours.”

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe