Ruddington’s much loved annual Beer and Cider Festival, which was cancelled completely in 2020 due to COVID-19, will go ahead this year – at the end of this month!
In February, a decision was made to push back further the 3rd-6th June dates originally considered for RuddFest 2021 because some Coronavirus restrictions in England would still be in force. Organisers have now confirmed it’s taking place in our village from Thursday 26th August to Sunday 29th August – less than three weeks’ away. Once again the main organisers are The Three Crowns, The White Horse Inn and The Frame Breakers – who, this year, will be joined by The Red Lion.
John Noble, of The Three Crowns, explains: “As a group we decided to wait until we knew 100% that the ‘freedom’ date given by the government for the removal of all COVID-19 restrictions was going to happen. This type of event wouldn’t be able to function under the table service rules that were in place for the hospitality industry. We also had a few things we as a business needed to get confirmed and agreed to ensure that we could deliver the event. Thankfully we have.”
With the legal restrictions lifted, and most of the adult population now double-jabbed, it’s another sign that ‘normality’ is gradually returning to village life – albeit with some ‘COVID safe’ measures remaining in place. “All venues will still have the Track & Trace QR codes available for people to check in should they choose to do so and with this also being an all outdoor event that really helps” says John. “It gives people some reassurance and a safer feel around the spread of COVID-19 and, with the fantastic vaccination programme in the UK, it will allow people to mix, and enjoy their time together – which is long overdue for many of us. All venues will have a limit that is either their standard licensing capacity, or agreed via a Rushcliffe Borough licensing, with the use of TEN notices, so numbers will be controlled at entry points. The village green will also have the barriers as usual, as this is a permanent licensing condition now, and without them the event wouldn’t be given permission to go ahead.”
As well as the usual ‘beer marquee’ on The Green, The Three Spices will be there cooking up Indian snacks and curries, the food van from Gino’s Ristorante will provide tea, coffee, burgers, hotdogs and chips, whilst ‘Ape about Pizza’ will be serving stone-baked, wood-fired pizzas.
In terms of musical entertainment, Rebecca Lomas will be singing on The Green early on Thursday early evening – with local DJ Lionel Vinyl back on Friday & Saturday to play some favourite tunes from over the years. Also there will be the usual ‘kids corner’ with a bouncy castle, and kids’ pocket money toys and sweets provided by ‘Balloons ‘R’ Us’. Additional entertainment and attractions will be on offer at the other RuddFest venues around our village, too.
John says they’re striving to make RuddFest eco-friendly: “This year all four venues taking part will have the RuddFest branded and reusable polycarbonate glasses. These will be £1 deposit and available and refundable at all four official venues. They will come with a ticket. Please do not loose this as, without the ticket and the glass, a refund can not be obtained. (This stops people picking up your glass and getting money back for it!) Having these allows people to get their own glass and keep it for the entire time they are with us, plus it also helps reduce a large amount of single use plastic waste.”
With many Ruddington hospitality businesses still struggling, post-pandemic, John adds: “To finally be able to hold the event and bring people back into our village will be a fantastic boost – not only to our pubs and cafes but to local shops also. Since lockdown kicked in, back in March 2020, times have been hard. The uncertainty of the future for many business was in the balance. The people of Ruddington have been amazing as usual, they have come out in their droves to support us all since restrictions started to ease and have persevered through all the tough measures we had in place. We are looking forward to welcoming old and new faces, seeing people get together with friends and family and have a fantastic 4 days, we have missed you all.”
Organisers are also actively encouraging all visitors who are not within walking distance to either make use of public transport or one of the local taxi firms. “Parking in Ruddington is a battle on a normal day, so please forget the designated driver for this weekend, and leave them cars at home!”
RuddFest 2021 runs from Thursday 26th August to Sunday 29th August – starting at midday each day. As always, entry is FREE – but please note you are not permitted to take your own alcohol on to the site.