THIS weekend’s Northwich Beer Festival has confirmed all attendees will be required to show a Covid pass to gain entry into the event.
Organisers of the popular festival, which hasn’t been held since 2019 because of the pandemic, say the requirement has been imposed on them by the venue’s owner, Brio Leisure.
The event is being held at the town’s Memorial Court from tonight (Friday, September 17) with further sessions on Saturday (12pm-4pm and 6pm-11pm) with organisers saying they will do all they can to help people attend as safely as possible.
Rupert Adams, President of Northwich Rotary Club, which organises the festival said: “The matter is, I’m afraid, outside our control.
“Brio Leisure, as the venue’s owner, is imposing the requirement under their terms and conditions for hiring the hall.
“They say the organisers of all events that meet defined criteria will be need to require attendees to show a Covid Pass.
“The requirement applies to events throughout September where the event will hit any of the triggers identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).”
According to Mr Adams, Brio have said the festival hits triggers for having congested areas such as bars and toilets as well as free movement, due to lack of seating or control on movement.
Mr Adams added: “As Rotary we believe that our risk assessment of the event is thorough and that the precautions and advisory procedures we have put in place as a result of that assessment are robust and go well beyond legal requirements.
“We consulted government and NHS guidance when undertaking the risk assessment as well as monitoring the local infection rate.
“The assessment covers volunteers, attendees and employed staff (including Brio staff).
“However, and unfortunately, Brio are unwilling to remove or modify this particular condition.
“We were left in no doubt that failure to comply would have been seen as a breach of their terms and conditions and we would have had no option but to cancel the event.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the event is inclusive, including the provision of lateral flow tests for those who are unable to demonstrate proof of vaccination.”
Proof of vaccination or that of a negative test result are not yet mandated as a condition of entry for events and venues across England, with the Government holding back the concept of so called Covid passports, as a Plan B under its winter plans for managing the virus.
Brio Leisure have been approached for a comment on the matter.
The festival is making a welcome return this year, with more than 50 beers to try, as well as a larger gin and a Prosecco bar – there will also be live music on both Friday and Saturday night.
Tickets can still be purchased online at northwichbeer.wixsite.com/northwichbeer/tickets.