Following government advice on Covid-19, CAMRA HQ have cancelled all beer festivals until the end of June and are reviewing festivals going forward on a weekly basis. They have also put a stop to any spend on other planned beer festivals without authorisation from HQ. Importantly there is also a ban on holding all meetings. As a result of these policies, we have made the difficult decision not to go ahead with Cheltenham Real Ale Festival 2020.
The planning meeting scheduled for Tuesday 24th March is cancelled.
I realise this decision will come as a disappointment to all of you after the hard work that has been put in over the past few months planning for this year’s festival. We have, however, decided to take the early decision to cancel before we have made any significant commitments rather than carry on and then have cancellation forced upon us at a later date. Due to the number of changes we were trying to implement this year, it would also be difficult to progress the key actions without face to face meetings.
It is difficult to predict what the situation will be in October. If some semblance of normality has returned, then other more established CAMRA festivals may be going ahead on our chosen date and we will be able to support these. The pubs and breweries of Cheltenham may need our support rather than having trade drawn away by our festival and we as a branch can focus our campaigning efforts on supporting these businesses.
The decision also lets everyone know where they stand and those who have businesses, or jobs, that may be directly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis in the immediate future can concentrate on these important activities without the distraction of CRAF.
We aim to re-establish the festival in 2021 and hope many of you will be able to be involved in the organisation of the event once again.