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EXCLUSIVE: Dates announced for Midsummer Beer Happening 2022 as festival is cancelled for second year

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The organisers of Stonehaven’s Midsummer Beer Happening have postponed the event for a second year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The popular craft beer, food and music celebration is a not-for-profit event and is organised by a committee of around five individuals and run by 250 local volunteers.

It attracts thousands of people to the coastal town’s Baird Park and welcomed 6,000 people in 2019. Running for more than a decade, the festival has also raised £52,000 for charity to date.

Organiser Robert Lindsay at the 10th anniversary of the Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven in 2019.

Set to take place from today for three days, there had been plans in place to push the Midsummer Beer Happening back to September. However, with restrictions and guidance around events still up in the air regarding larger gatherings, the organisers have decided it is safest to postpone until 2022.

Impossible to go ahead

Robert Lindsay, co-organiser of the festival and the owner of north-east brewing firm, six°north, is “disappointed” with the developments which he says have “proved impossible” for events.

He said: “This would have been the day we opened the doors to the 2021 Midsummer Beer Happening and welcomed thousands of people back for three days of fun and joy.

Festival-goers at the event in 2019.

“It is, of course, not to be. Sadly, neither is our Plan B of shifting the festival back to a weekend in September, something we had been working towards.

“We are so disappointed this has proved to be impossible, given the huge uncertainty still swirling around the coronavirus restrictions we all must follow to keep everyone safe. There simply isn’t enough clarity about what the future holds to allow the volunteer organisers to plan an event in 2021.

“Even Level 0 would only allow for 400 people seated in our marquee at Baird Park. That would represent, at best, a quarter of our usual festival-goers, while the cost of staging the event would remain the same, making our beloved event economically unviable.

Punters trying out different beers.

“There is no route map out of Level 0 at present and even the move to Level 0, proposed for June 28,  looks highly likely to be pushed back three weeks. This is coupled with the possibility of spikes in cases which could mean levels changing at short notice.”

An event of this scale takes time to plan, something Robert insists with the changing of restrictions and guidance, the team of organisers do not have to execute the festival to its highest standards.

It takes at least 12 to 16 weeks for the entire operation to be completed and the festival would have to fork out on high cost outlays, such as creating the festival’s branded glasses, paying for marquee hire and toilet block rentals.

Organiser Robert Lindsay with Summer, a Guide Dog puppy in training, who was a special guest to officially open the 10th anniversary of the Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven in 2019.

Robert added: “Facing those costs, while still being unsure if we could actually stage the Happening at all, has forced us to the realisation we have no choice but to cancel the event completely for a second year.

“We are devastated at having to do this. We know the joy the event brings to the community and the boost its fundraising brings to the area.”

2022 date

And although beer fans will be disappointed with the news, Robert aims to keep spirits high with the announcement of Midsummer Beer Happening 2022 taking place from Thursday June 16 to Saturday June 18.

He continued: “While the Midsummer Beer Happening 2021 is not to be, we are already looking to MSBH 2022.

“Planning starts now and in June next year, we are determined to welcome you all back to Stonehaven for a fantastic three days where we can forget these dark days and make great new memories to last into the future.”

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