After attending the Great British Beer Festival in the past week and following the documented experiences of Charlotte and Emmie, I wanted to spend a few moments rounding up all upcoming UK beer festivals and add links to their Codes of Conduct in one place.
I must take a brief pause to mention that Codes of Conduct are only affective if they are upheld and delivered operationally.
Before we jump into the round-up, I’d like to give Women of the Bevolution a shout out for creating an amazing series on festival safety a few months back and I invite you to read it. And just this week I attended an amazing webinar by The Safe Bar Network, Brave Noise and We Are Beer which covered Active Bystander training. Please familiarise yourself with the handy Active Bystander toolkit (below) provided by the Safe Bar Network after the webinar if you’re working or attending festivals over the coming months – it could help you personally and also empower you to give a helping hand to someone in need.
If you’d like to become a member of the Safe Bar Network, you can book a one-hour SAFE Bar Training conversation today. To schedule a training or learn more about the SAFE Bar Network contact Haleigh Harrold (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.safebarnetwork.org.
Charlotte & Emmie’s experiences
Charlotte’s experience at GBBF was covered in one of my recent Tik Tok videos (below) and also on Charlotte’s Instagram and Twitter profiles. No-one should have to experience what happened. Yes, I know that festivals can’t control what every in attendance does but what they can control is their reaction to it. Also, with the right Code of Conduct in place, the perpetrators should be kicked out! It’s disappointing that I can’t locate anything on the website about how the event aims to keep people safe when attending. Feel free to fill me in if I’ve missed this though in the comments!
CAMRA has now tweeted a thread (see below also) and are open to exploring collaborations and are inviting feedback to ensure positive changes take place as a result, which is promising.
I also attended GBBF with the awesome Emmie Harrison-West and here’s a snippet of their experience and a link to read the detailed thread about everyday sexism at beer festivals so you can join in the conversation.
I know that reading first hand accounts of what happens at beer festivals is a real ‘face palm’ moment but I think if we band together, call out bad behaviour and highlight festivals doing a good job, we can drive the positive changes we need to make festivals safer spaces for everyone to enjoy their favourite beverages.
If you are weary about attending the next round of beer festivals, hopefully the information below can provide some much needed reassurance. If I couldn’t find the Code of Conduct (or anything resembling it) on a festival’s website. I’e noted this and will update this blog post as updates happen. I will also add more festivals as I go (or if people drop me a comment below), this is a collaborative post to help our community.
I wanted to add, that if you are attending a beer festival alone and need a friend, please feel free to drop me a DM via my Instagram – there’s a strong group of us attending each festival so we’ve got your back.
Upcoming Festivals – A Roundup
London Craft Beer Festival – 12th & 13th August, Tobacco Dock
We Are Beer the organisers of this festival were absolutely golden to me last year after my negative experiences at BrewLDN and they even offered me a quiet / safe space to vacate too if things got too much, so I wanted to say a massive “thanks”. I wouldn’t have got back into the festival spirit so soon, if it hadn’t been for their positive actions.
This and all other We Are Beer Festivals uphold the Everyone Welcome initiative (see below):
Code of Conduct – I particularly like their approach to removing perpetrators from the events.
Brewing for Change Festival – Sunday, 28 August, from 12pm – 11pm at the Tap Social Taproom in the Curtis Industrial Estate
Here’s a snippet of what the festival is about in case this isn’t on your radar yet:
Beyond great beers, we’ll also have a stellar lineup of live music, DJs, and street food vendors throughout the day, PLUS live podcasting, curated panel discussions, and more led by Pellicle Magazine, the award-winning magazine and podcast devoted to beer, wine, cider, food, and travel.
Tickets are just £10 and inclusive of a festival glass and half pint of Tap Social beer. This is a family-friendly festival, though alcohol service is restricted to those 18+. Half-price tickets are available for minors aged 6 to 17; children 5 years and younger are free. Everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs are very welcome!
Code of Conduct:
Leeds International Beer Festival – 8- 11 September at KIRKSTALL ABBEY, Leeds
I haven’t been to this festival yet but I’m expecting it to be mega. One reason is the amazing breweries in attendance, another is because The Coven is launching its amazing Wellness Officers Programme there.
There’s also going to be a rather awesome ‘Coven Teepee‘ full of awesome vibes and great breweries and including: @tartarusbeers @chapterbrewing @heistbrew@bigtripbrewing @merakai_brewing @theendlesshum. There’ll also be a separate covered ‘Coven Wellness Area’ to assist anyone that needs some time away – it will have chairs, phone charging, water, first aid and a trained mental health first aider also available.
The Wellness Officers will be active bystanders and this means they will be empowered to speak up and intervene when situations need it. They are not security/ bouncers and their safety and comfort comes first. They will provide the private space, empathetic ears and willingness to assist that are sometimes overlooked or under supplied at beer festivals.
I also love this note from The Coven’s recent IG post too:
“Far too often, poor bahaviour is condoned at events and those minority views are allowed to dictate the tone for all. Far too often incidents are left unrecorded and no further action taken.
This is where we can enact change, and we aim to do so.”
Code of Conduct: for the Coven Area, please find a link below and the wider Leeds Festival one will be available soon.
Indy Man Beer Con – 29th Sep – 2nd Oct, Victoria Baths, Manchester
This is usually one of my fave festivals – I honestly haven’t had any issues at this festival and I attended alone the first time I ever went so I’m really confident that the atmosphere and carefree attitude I felt will extend to this year.
I couldn’t find a specific Code of Conduct but I did find a Safety & Inclusion section on the website which you can read below:
Beer Central Festival – 16th & 17th September, Teaworks Digbeth, Birmingham
Code of Conduct: operates the same as London Craft Beer Festival as it’s also run by We Are Beer.
Drop me a comment below if you’d like me to add any more for festivals you’re attending.