The Lieutenant Governor got the 4th CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival off to a flying start at the new venue of the Villa Marina on Thursday evening. He pulled the first pint of ‘Joey’s’ and handed it to 17 times sidecar TT winner Manxman Dave Molyneux, who was representing the Festival’s good cause the Joey Dunlop Foundation.
The CAMRA Festival organisers were, yet again, bowled over by the Manx public’s growing interest in real ale and cider. Over the three days of the Festival about 3,000 people attended – up by 1,000 from last year. On Saturday twice as many attended as did in 2014. In total about 400 people from across visited. Over 10,500 pints of beer, cider and perry were sold.
However, on Friday late afternoon an unprecedented number came along in a very short period. This lead to queues for the bar. We did all that we could do at the time to ease the delays but unfortunately there was a knock-on effect until the evening. This included taking a decision to admit only those who had purchased tickets in advance. We are very sorry for the queueing and that we had to turn away some people who had not pre-purchased tickets.
The organisers have listened to all the comments that were made and are well aware of the problems. In planning for 2016 we will consider all options to increase bar capacity and make the Festival enjoyable for all who want to attend.