Beer and cider festival returns to Chelmsford

A popular Chelmsford beer and cider festival is set to return to the city this summer after a four-year break.

Returning after Camra’s last Chelmsford festival in 2019, the event will be about half the size as previous years due to the current economic climate, organisers say.

However, there will still be a wide range of beers and ciders and local musicians providing entertainment and food outlets for the event between July 11 and 15 at Admirals Park.

A statement from Camra said: “As mentioned in previous communications, our 2023 festival will be somewhat smaller than when it was last held in 2019.

“We feel that this is the best way to ensure we are successful and contain the effort within the capability of our volunteers.

“We want to promote real ale and cider in mid-Essex and bring back an event of which we can all be proud to be part.”

It adds: “We are pleased to announce both that our Summer Festival has received budget approval from Camra HQ, and that we have secured Admirals Park as our venue July 11 and 15.

“We would also like to say thank you to the 100 more people who have already volunteered to help us set up, manage and take down the event, without whom we could not have gone ahead.”

The Chelmsford and Mid Essex Branch (CME) plans, arranges and runs both the Winter and Summer Festivals on behalf of Camra HQ.

In March 2020 in line with Government advice Camra HQ cancelled all festivals and regularly reviewed this position as the pandemic continued and Government advice changed. Camra says it is now able to start planning for festivals. The winter festival was last held in February 2020.

As capacity will be reduced this year the festival be ticketed with prices between £17 and £20 for non-Camra members.

After last week’s announcement that tickets were on sale for the Summer Beer Festival 2023, Organiser Kevin Sutterby said: “At our last festival in 2019, we attracted a 20,000 crowd – a sell-out given our daily capacity particularly during the weekend sessions. Despite starting “small” again, please help us to make the festival’s return this year a sell-out.”

“With the 2023 return being somewhat smaller than our last festival in 2019, we recommend getting your tickets early to avoid disappointment,” he added.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter