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The 29th Festival will be held on Fri 22nd - Sat 23rd March 2019 once again at Brighton Racecourse.

[This article originally appeared in the January 2006 edition of Sussex Drinker magazine]

I happened to hear the famous Buddy Holly song on the radio this morning and started to panic! Yes, by the time this magazine is published, there will be less than a month to go before the Sussex Beer & Cider Festival at Hove Town Hall.

Thursday 9th March sees the opening of the event with a session from 5pm to 11pm (£3.50), one hour later finish than previously. Friday sessions are from 11am to 3pm (£3) and 5pm to 11pm (£6). Be warned, last year the Friday evening session was sold out over 3 weeks before the event, so, if you haven’t got your tickets yet, act quickly or be disappointed. Saturday’s sessions are from 11am to 3pm (£3) and 5pm to 10pm (£4 or £2 concession for students on production of Students Union card)

Music this year is being provided by the ever popular Karl Bashford on Friday night and the party atmosphere on Saturday night is being led by the big band sound (I think that there are 11 of them) of The Rhythm Method, a very lively band specialising in soul music.

Tickets can be obtained from the Brighton and Hove Centres, Gardeners Arms (Lewes), Evening Star and Sir Charles Napier (Brighton), Buckingham Arms (Shoreham) and Selden Arms (Worthing). Also, mail order is available, write to SCBF Ticket Sales at 14 Clover Lane, Ferring, Worthing, BN12 5LZ with a cheque/PO made out to Sussex CAMRA Beer Festival for the sessions required and enclose a SAE.

After last year’s huge demand, this year’s festival will be even bigger with 200 different cask beers, lots more cider and perries and the usual comprehensive range of foreign and British bottled beers.

A major innovation this year is that in conjunction with some of the Sussex brewers we are holding a small exhibition on brewing. There will also be short talks on beer and brewing by several of our brewers. All this will be held in a room just off our downstairs bar which will feature as many beers we can get from our local brewers, and not surprisingly called The Sussex Bar. Also in this area will be a Newcomers Bar, a small bar where our volunteers will be enthusiastically advising on Real Ale to our customers who have little or no experience in this area.
We also aim to have our Products stalls, including ‘Gorilla Munchies’ - real snacks from the US, and our CAMRA Membership Stand.

In the upstairs bar will be the usual huge range of beers from around the UK and on the balcony will be food at very competitive prices provided for the first time this year by Windmill Catering.

Good news for smokers. The threatened smoking bar has been lifted. Smoking will be allowed in one of the seating areas near to the downstairs bar. Smokers will need to follow the smoking signs.

One service we can’t guarantee to provide is that of a Dating Agency. However, I have just been told that 9 years ago, one couple started talking to each other on the train home from Hove. They got on so well that they started going out, then got married and now have 2 children!!!! Blind Date eat your heart out!!

All that remains is for me to wish everyone a great festival and I hope to see you all at Hove Town Hall.

Peter Betteridge
Festival Organiser




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