Monday, January 12, 2009

Perth International Beer Fest

Great work from Stu at YelPar for this invigorating bitch about the Perth International Beer Fest over the weekend.

Of course, my good mate The Lazy Aussie thought it was a motza for The Worst of Perth as well. Truly a grand Worst - if the reports are correct.

I'm loving the fact that according to our spies, punters lined up for over an hour, only to line up again at one of the beer 'tents' to be handed a warm bottle of something not very exotic at all.

Indeed, one of my colleagues here in the Hub commented, "I didn't mind it, but that was because I was pissed when I got there. You'd have to be pissed to enjoy it".

Shame Perth, shame. I think you'd find a better time swigging a bottle of Stones Green Ginger wine on the Cottesloe foreshore, watching out for sharks. If the rozzers don't get you of course...


Anonymous said...

I went to the Perth International Beer Fest and I thought it was a superb event, organised extremely well, with plenty of food, cold beer and entertainment.

Well done to the organisers.

Anonymous said...

I too thought it was great. Just the fact that it was on the grass on the Perth foreshore was enough to keep me entertained, never mind the queues!

Anonymous said...

I went to the Perth International Prostitute Fest and I thought it was a superb event, organised extremely well, with plenty of beaver damming, low riding and cork soaking.

Well done to the organisers

Anonymous said...

I too I went to the Perth International Prostitute Fest and I also thought it was a superb event, organised extremely well, with plenty of cold cocking, purse stringing and sand ratting.

Well done to the organisers

Anonymous said...

Possibly the worst organised festival I have ever attended - There was not enough infrastrucure to support the amount of antendees such as food and beverage suppliers, toilets and entry points. I have to wait over an hour to get in and then another hour to get my first beer - complete waist of money

Anonymous said...

This is the email I sent to the organisers of the event yesterday.

To Alek and Lisa,

I must start by saying that I went to the International Beer Festival on Saturday afternoon and was most disappointed with what I saw.

If the Belgian Beer Cafe, Bobby Dazzlers, the Lucky Shag and the Brass Monkey were all full by 6pm on a Saturday afternoon, full of people who had LEFT the festival, then this is a poor indication of the ability of the festival to operate. Even the Paddington Ale House had a larger Saturday night trade than usual, because people wanted to be able to drink a quality beer that they hadn’t tried before. I spoke to about 50 people after leaving the festival and I did not hear a single positive thing about it.

I’m going to raise a number of issues in this email, detailing what was wrong with the festival and how to improve it in the future.

1. The location – Langley Park was a bad spot to have the festival to start with. If you had held it in the Supreme Court Gardens or the Esplanade, it would have been much easier for people to get to AND it would not have been anywhere as easy to dissuade people from going on the walk back to the public transport.
2. The Lines to get in – If you are expecting thousands of people to turn up to a festival such as this, it would have been a lot easier for you to separate out the 6 entry points from the line to purchase your tickets. I waited in the line for 30 minutes just to get in the door
3. Range of beers – An International Beer Festival needs to feature beers from all over the world. Mauritius, Germany and the United Kingdom does not make an International Beer Festival, it makes an outdoor pub. Further to that, I did not see any Jarrah Jacks at any of the stalls on Saturday. Where were all the other Western Australian microbreweries? There was no Little Creatures, no Gage Roads, no Nail, no Matso’s, no Duckstein, no Elmars; the list goes on and on. It is clear that the Brewers Association was not brought into the loop until much too late and whatever deal that was offered to them by you was not good enough to get the breweries on board.
4. The amount of beer/supplies – There is absolutely no excuse for running out of beer at a beer festival. While this did not happen to me, I have friends of mine who I met later that evening who waited for a warm beer in a plastic cup topped up with ice. This is an absolute disgrace.
5. The Lines to get a drink – There was no way people should be waiting up to 90 minutes for a beer that they could get at the pub. For a beer festival to operate properly there should be enough tents or alcohol outlets to ensure that people can actually get a beer and walk away.
6. The tastings – What happened to the advertised “drink tasting tickets starting at $1”? I certainly didn’t see any of these and no-one I spoke to found them either.
7. The rides – What was the purpose of having the rides there? I know this was supposed to be a family event, but for goodness sakes, it felt more like a school fete than a beer festival. When there are more stalls for generic fete-like products than beer stalls, then you can’t call it a beer festival.
8. The entertainment – This should have been a no-brainer. If you are going to put on girls in bikinis as part of a fashion show, you don’t put them on first, and you certainly don’t put 13 and 14 year old girls on stage at a beer festival. Why do you think all the men that flocked to the stage for the swimsuit section moved away as quickly as possible once the girls that opened the Christmas pageant got on stage? This was a very poor choice of entertainment. A number of modelling agencies and fashion outlets could have been called upon for this portion of the festival and would have provided much better entertainment.
9. The “family event” – I don’t care what you say, a beer festival is not for children. If you had not approached it as a family event and instead tried to pitch it in the same vein as a wine festival or Spring in the Valley, then you may have had more beer tents.

The lesson that you need to learn from this is that if you are going to run an international beer festival, you need to be consulting with the Brewers Association right from the beginning, rather than bringing them in after you have most things organised.

The Fremantle Beer Festival held in 2006 was an enormous success featuring a large number of breweries, a big range of beers, good quality bands and entertainment, places to sit, a good range of food. I have heard rumours of the return of the Fremantle Beer Festival and if that is the case, I sincerely hope that people’s experiences from the weekend do not detract from the possibility of an actually good beer festival in the future.

Cookster said...

Lordy, lordy, methinks there's an opening here for a savvy promoter to really corner the beer fest market.

Chris, is that true about 14 year olds in bikinis???

Anonymous said...