The old willow tree on The Green isn’t the only big thing that’s missing from our village this weekend. Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st May were also set to be the dates of RuddFest 2020 – Ruddington’s now legendary beer and cider festival.
Like all village events – other than ‘virtual’ ones – it was cancelled a couple of months’ ago due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. However, a gradual easing of restrictions is creating hope that the annual festival might still take place this year.
Organiser John Noble tells us: “We had originally spoken about the August Bank Holiday weekend. However this looks like it may have to move into September, based on how the lockdown is being released in stages at the start of each month. Again, this will be dependent on any restrictions that could still be in place. All venues would ensure the numbers they allow in would be able to meet the requirements.”
Original plans for the four day RuddFest 2020 included the usual Beer Tent on The Green plus The Three Crowns, The Frame Breakers, The White Horse and the ‘pop-up’ bar at The Bottle Top, as previously. This year would have seen the Ruddington Arms/Next Episode also getting involved on The Green with a food offering. “We all had some fantastic ideas in place this year, and the 3 main venues were also looking at a way we could use the other green space in the village core for family activities and to involve other business in and around the village” says John. He muses: “The dates of 2020 have seen the best forecast weather I have ever known since we launched on the village green in 2014!”
There’ll be no guaranteeing further good weather, nevertheless what might happen in the autumn sounds only to be slightly less ambitious: “The hope is we will be able to hold a ‘mini’ RuddFest, along the same lines and set up as the usual event – just scaled back” explains John. “Small numbers in attendance and over a shorter time periods – perhaps just a Friday and Saturday, with a smaller offering across the board.”
It may also have to be more focused on village residents than usual – but John says not exclusively: “The event would be advertised but we wouldn’t do as much promotional activity. On all advertisements we would also highlight MINI FEST so people understand numbers and capacity has reduced. It is always good to see people from outside the village venture in – it’s what makes Ruddington such a great place to live and to have businesses that prosper.”
Meanwhile, like many of Ruddington’s business owners, John has found himself a bit ‘in limbo’ since the lockdown – very aware that venues like his will be some of the last allowed to reopen: “I have greatly missed the social aspect of running a hospitality business, and the routine that comes with working life. I have also missed attending the gym, so I’ve taken up running around the Country Park or cycling. Unfortunately these are just to counteract the volumes of food I have been eating due to the huge amounts of free time! Netflix has also become a very good friend in the recent months.”
But John adds: “On the plus side we have managed to do some renovations at The Three Crowns and The Three Spices, and I am very sure people will notice the difference as soon as they come in. It has also given us the time to do the same with our bar in the city centre – so both are now ready and in a good place to serve the public again.”
Meantime, if you’d like to enjoy a beer or cider on what would have been RuddFest 2020 weekend, don’t forget you can order bottles and mini kegs for takeaway or delivery in Ruddington from The Bottle Top >>HERE<< and from The Frame Breakers >>HERE<< to recreate the festival at home in your hot and sunny garden. “Cheers!”