Were you there? Relive the fun as Newbury Real Ale Festival returned, with headliners Reef entertaining the crowds
MORE than 13,000 pints of ale, cider and craft beer were consumed as the Newbury Real Ale Festival made its triumphant, long-awaited return.
There were more than 200 ales, craft beers and ciders to try, with many of them produced locally and including some Great British Beer Festival winners.
The Catherine Wheel bar also served more than 1,000 gin and rum cocktails at the event, which for that one day, became the biggest ‘pub garden’ in England.
The 4,500 people who gathered at Northcroft Playing Fields were treated to an eclectic line-up of music, with rock band Reef headlining.
The band thrilled fans by playing their most popular songs, including the anthem Place Your Hands.
They were joined on stage by former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, who is currently touring with the band.
There were also performances from Hells Bells, Europe’s longest established AC/DC tribute act, as well as festival favourites The Brit Pop Boys.
Since the festival was started by Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club in 2003, more than £100,000 has been donated to various charities and other good causes.
Club chairman Vinny Butler said it had been an “amazing” event.
“Seeing everyone smile was just fantastic; it was just a joy,” he said. “After everything every community has been through, it was just a fabulous, joyous occasion.
“The hockey club loved being part of it. The people of Newbury were a joy to serve and we hope everyone had a nice time.
“That’s why we do it, so people can have a nice time.”
Around 100 volunteers also chipped in with the clear up the following day to ensure the ground was ready for a cricket match by 11am.
This year’s principal sponsors were Newbury-based web design and digital marketing company Fusion Group, while the main sponsors were Visit Newbury and Champion Group.
A total of 45 companies, including the Newbury Weekly News, sponsored the event this year – the highest number in the festival’s history.
Fusion Group director and festival organiser David Whittingham said: “After the last 18 months we’ve had, it was so good seeing so many smiling faces and everyone dancing and singing the night away.
“I want to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors, thanks to all the staff that volunteered from the Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club for making this happen.
“We couldn’t do any of this without you.”
Net proceeds raised from the 2021 festival will benefit Sport in Mind and Daisy’s Dream.
Planning for next year’s event – on September 10 – is already under way.
Pictures by Chris Forsey. To order any of the photos above click here and search for reference number 37-1721.