Thousands enjoy event

I write in response to the letter from Mr Robert Musgrave, of York, regarding an '˜Unexpected Charge' at the recent Berwick Food and Beer Festival (Berwick Advertiser, September 14).

Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 09:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 10:19 am

The festival is organised by the Berwick Slow Food Group, a group of local volunteers who are passionate about promoting the virtues of local produce. It is a not-for-profit, self-funded festival.

As Mr Musgrave highlights, the event is well-publicised and I should point out that all publicity clearly states the entrance fee.

Over the years, the festival has increased in popularity and has become established as a major event for Berwick.

Every effort is made to make each year better than the last, with extras such as children’s activities and the demonstration kitchen firm favourites with local visitors and those from further afield.

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The festival costs more than £25,000 to stage, including hiring the Barracks, marquee, toilets, the tables and chairs, stage equipment, music and entertainment, and so on.

The organisers are enormously grateful to our very generous sponsors – Simpsons Malt has been the main sponsor for a number of years – and to the increasing number of producers who pay a stall fee to help fund the event. This year, there were more than 60 stalls.

Of course, it is the public who really make the festival happen and over 10 years have enabled it to become the event we enjoy today. This year, more than 6,000 people attended. Most people seem to agree that a daytime entrance fee, close to the price of a pint of beer, is good value (under 12s are free).

We are sorry that Mr Musgrove missed out on his game pie and sincerely hope that he comes back to Berwick next September to attend the 11th festival. It promises to be a fabulous event, celebrating our wonderful local food and drink heritage and including the usual extras that make it such a special weekend.

Stephen Scott

Berwick Slow Food Group