Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Beer and Cider Festival cancelled due to 'lack of venue after Ulster Hall rent hike'

Ulster Hall, Belfast.
Ulster Hall, Belfast.

The organisers of the Belfast Beer and Cider Festival have announced that their 2019 event will not go ahead after they failed to secure a venue in time.

The event has traditionally been held over a number of days in November at the Ulster Hall. This year's festival would have marked the 20th anniversary of the event.

In a statement on their website the organisers said that this year's event was cancelled due to an increase in the price of renting the Ulster Hall for the event and lack of time to secure an alternative venue.

However they moved to reassure fans that the event is planned to return in 2020.

The organisers said that the price charged by the Ulster Hall to host the event would have made the entrance fee charge needed to break even too high.

"We felt the festival went well in 2018, with some great improvements, and a great atmosphere, so it was with a heavy heart that we concluded that there was no viable way for us to afford their fees, and had to walk away and start looking for another venue," the statement read.

"From that point we’ve been working hard to try to secure a workable venue for the festival for this year, but I’m afraid we’ve simply run out of time and options to deliver a festival in November 2019."

The statement said that plans were already underway for next year's event.

"This is not the end for the Belfast Beer & Cider Festival. Having made the final call not to go ahead with this year’s festival, we are already looking at options for next year. It may not be in the Ulster Hall or in November, but we’ll continue working to bring an even better beer and cider festival back to Belfast," it said.

"We hope to be back in 2020 with a great event to celebrate the 20th Belfast Beer & Cider Festival."

The Belfast Beer and Cider Festival has taken place at the Ulster Hall for a number of years.
The Belfast Beer and Cider Festival has taken place at the Ulster Hall for a number of years.

SDLP councillor Gary McKeown said he was "sorry" to hear that the event would not be happening this year.

"It's a great event and creates a real buzz. We need stuff like this in our city," he said.

The organisers asked people who have enjoyed the festival in the past and would like to see it continue at the Ulster Hall to get in touch with their local councillors to express their displeasure at the increase in price for using the venue.

They asked anyone with a suggestion for a suitable venue to get in touch at organisers@belfastbeerfestival.co.uk.

Belfast City Council has been contacted in relation to this story.

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