Seend festival’s sell-out success

This Is Wiltshire: Top left, Bob Laurie, Ronnie Laurie, Norah Hawkins, Jamie R Hawkins and Millie Hawkins in the crowd Top left, Bob Laurie, Ronnie Laurie, Norah Hawkins, Jamie R Hawkins and Millie Hawkins in the crowd

People enjoyed real ales and live music at the 14th Seend Beer Festival on Saturday.

For the second successive year the 500-ticket event, at the community centre in Rusty Lane, sold out.

Richard Todhunter, one of the organisers, said: “It went very well and was a very successful day. We had a dozen tickets left on the day but they quickly sold. We also had about 70 people pay to come in who didn’t drink beer but could buy drinks from the community centre bar while children got in free. We ran a tuck shop for children for the first time.”

The festival prides itself on being a family-friendly event and Mr Todhunter said some people plan their weekend around it.

He said: “Some people moored their narrowboat on the canal and walked up especially for the festival. We also had some new people attend and they said it had been a great day. The weather was brilliant – sunny, not too hot but dry. Lots of people were sat outside on straw bales and children could play on the Lye Field play area opposite.

“The festival has a good family atmosphere and it is very relaxed. Everyone enjoyed themselves.”

There were just over 30 beers and six ciders on offer. The first beer to sell out just after 5pm was Village Idiot by White Horse Brewery, a light and easy beer, and it’s thought that its name attracted the interest of drinkers.

Other popular beers were Summer Daze from Otter Brewery, a straw-coloured beer with bitter overtones, and Island Hopping from Milk Street Brewery, a pale golden-coloured ale. The award-winning Blueberry beer from Yeovil Brewery divided opinion while the strongest beer on offer, Beast (6.6 per cent) from Tirril Brewery proved popular with those wanting a full-bodied dark porter ale.

Four bands entertained the crowds: Phil King, who has performed all over the UK at festivals and fairs; Jamie R Hawkins, a singer/songwriter from Swindon; Clare in the Tommunity featuring Clare and Tom, who work at the British Lion pub in Devizes and A Dig in the Ribs, a four piece Wiltshire band who play covers.

They played inside the community centre and, aside from two short breaks, played for about three hours until the festival ended at 11pm.

The festival is the biggest single fundraiser for the community centre and organisers believe it will have made more than £2,000.

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