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CAMRA ditches Great British Beer Festival for 2024

The Campaign for Real Ale has announced the Great British Beer Festival will not be running in 2024 due to building work at London Olympia.

The crowds the opening days of GBBF

Stating that the festival will be “taking a year off” in 2024, the campaign group said it would be returning in 2025 “with a bang”. CAMRA said that London Olympia “could not offer us the dates we needed”. and as a result of the on-going building works at the venue, the group said it was unable to host the event to “the high standards customers and members have come to expect”.

A statement said: “Work is now underway by organisers and volunteers to explore a variety of options for the future – and the festival will return better than ever before.”

CAMRA’s events director Catherine Tonry said the group was “extremely disappointed” it won’t be taking place next year.

She said: “While we are understandably extremely disappointed CAMRA’s flagship event will not take place next year, we are now looking at a range of options for its triumphant return in 2025.”

Although the group did “explore” other venues, it said due to timescales, costs and other requirements it wasn’t able to secure an alternative.

Tonry continued: “While this was not a decision taken lightly, we will now look forward to the future and continue with plans for 2025, looking at a variety of options and venues.”

It also said that work was underway on how to run next year’s Champion Beer of Britain competition, which usually culminates at the national festival held at Olympia.

There was a two-year hiatus to the event due to the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, although controversy ensued when CAMRA launched a set of Covid-themed glassware in August 2020, which featured a design of the virus on beer festival glasses.

It returned as an in-person event in 2022 to London Olympia, and last year a visit by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to the festival was met with criticism from the beer sector.

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