by Tim Nuttall
With the weather forecast looking decidedly decent this weekend, final preparations are in full swing for Great Newsome Brewery’s annual Festivale.
Initially launched about seven years ago as an open day for people to tour the brewery, the festival has since grown from a small-scale event that attracted about 20 to 30 visitors into an annual celebration of music and beer that draws in hundreds of people each year.
Festivale 2023 takes places this weekend, running on Friday, June 16 (6pm to 10pm), and Saturday, June 17 (1pm to 10pm), at the brewery’s home in South Frodingham, Winestead.
Comprising food, entertainment, craft stalls and award-winning beers, this year’s event is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever. Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival made a successful return last year with a move to a larger field.
Reflecting on this expansion, brewery director Matthew Hodgson said: “The festival used to be directly outside the brewery, but has grown to a point where we decided to relocate to a field opposite in order to create more space for a better, safer environment.
“The relocation has provided us with various benefits, including room for a wider range of food vendors, plus the ability to welcome an increased number of local artisans, which we wouldn’t have been able to accommodate under the old format.”
This year, the festival has attracted the talents of nine local bands and solo performers who are set to entertain the crowds over the course of the weekend.
Launching the entertainment on Friday evening is singer-guitarist Lucy Taylor, who will be followed by power-trio Bad Guys Don’t Knock and the ever-popular Pub Lads.
Saturday’s entertainment will begin with folk singer-guitarist Sharon Garner, who will be performing a mix of covers and original material. She will be followed by high-energy covers band Low Flying Crow, and Hull’s own purveyors of folk, Fiddlers Elbow. Meanwhile, the Fat Louis Band will provide a taste of Blues, with brand-new covers band Lockwood following hot on their heels with a mix of pop and rock covers. Closing the festival will be punk and ska collective, the Zynx.
The diverse range of musical styles on offer will ensure that there’s something for everyone. For Matthew, this is a crucial element of the festival’s success. “I think ensuring that there’s something for everyone has always been important because, as a family festival, you’ve really got to cater for all ages and tastes.
“We’re really pleased to welcome back festival friends such as Sharon Garner, The Pub Lads and the Zynx who are among those that have performed for us before, but we’re equally pleased to welcome new talent to the festival. We’ve got a format that works really well but we’re also conscious that every year has to be a little bit different.”
Helping to organise the festival’s entertainment is local musician Guy Moxon. As a member of popular covers bands Licks and the Pub Lads, Guy is a familiar face on the local music scene and a long-term supporter of the festival – performing there in its early years and helping to curate the music at more recent events.
Guy said: “It’s been a pleasure to help pull all the acts together for the festival. We’ve got some great bands lined up this year. On Friday night, we have a line up of local talent – with all the acts either being based in Holderness or made up of members originally from this area. Saturday, we go a little further afield with bands from across the wider area.
“I think what the brewery have done with the festival is fantastic, taking it from a small-scale garden party to a larger scale gathering. It’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”
Praising Guy’s involvement, Matthew added: “Guy has been involved every year in one shape or form and for the last couple of years has kindly helped us to arrange the acts. His knowledge of the local music scene has been a real benefit and Guy has helped us out no end with pulling the acts together, which we’re really grateful for.”
Alongside the entertainment, small-scale tours of the brewery will be available on Saturday morning for those who have camped over on Friday night. A farm walk will also take place on Saturday morning, giving those with dogs, or just the desire to stretch their legs, an opportunity to take in some fresh air and the local scenery.
Of course, no festival at a brewery would be complete without an opportunity to try some of their award-winning creations. Matthew said: “We’ve got a new bar being built this year which will see at least 10 of our beers being available alongside ciders, stouts, wines and soft drinks.”
Throughout the course of the event’s history, the festival has always supported local charities – raising a combined total of £13,000 for good causes along the way. Last year, just over £3,000 was donated to the Daniel Wilkinson Foundation. This year, money raised will be split between Hornsea Inshore Rescue and Hull Animal Welfare Trust. Representatives from both charities will be present at the festival to share the details of their work with attendees.
Matthew added: “It takes a lot of organising but it’s ultimately very rewarding, and we have a lot of family and friends who come back and help every year. We’ve had some really great feedback over the years and it’s great to be able to run the festival for the benefit of the community, and to help promote the brewery and the work we do at Great Newsome.
“The event has morphed into more than just a brewery beer festival, it’s become something for families to enjoy too. We’re looking forward to another successful event and with the forecast looking really positive, and with ticket sales quite a way up on last year, we’re hoping to attract another great turnout with at least 400 estimated attendees on Friday and up to 800 on Saturday.”
Tickets, priced £10 for adults on Friday and £15 on Saturday, are still available to purchase online from the brewery’s website. A weekend saver ticket is also available, giving two-day access to the festival for only £20. Visitors can also pay on the day, but should be aware that an attendance limit is in place for safety reasons. Therefore, confirming online beforehand would be advisable.
Under-18s are welcome to attend free of change, but they must have an U18s admission ticket.
For further information about the festival, or to buy tickets, visit greatnewsomebrewery.co.uk.