Fancy taking charge of a beer festival? Well, the chance to do just that in Aberdeenshire is now up for grabs.
And with the future of many events still unknown, event founders Mungo and Guy Finlayson are hoping to pass the baton on by offering someone else the opportunity to take on the festivals which attracted thousands of people when last held in 2019.
Mungo explained: “Banchory Beer Festival was founded by myself and my brother (Guy) back in 2014. There wasn’t really much happening and from where went with our first one until our last one in 2019, it grew massively.
“We had lots of headline bands, people travelling from all over, lots of different beers. We expanded from beer into Scottish gins and Scottish rums. We started doing prosecco and Scottish cocktails, too.
“We grew the event from a couple of hundred people to the biggest year where, at one pint, we had around 2,000 people in the crowd.
“It really grew and a lot of people have said it would be sad if it didn’t continue, but we can’t sit with costs for things in storage without knowing when we are going to get back to it.”
However, without being able to host any events last year, and 2021 festivals looking unlikely, Mungo added that it simply wasn’t viable to continue paying storage costs and insurance premiums, for instance, with no income coming in or any idea when they might see some.
With that in mind, they are hopeful that a company or an individual will take over the running of the events and preserve them for the future.
“We have grown a big thing and we don’t want to just lose it. We really want to keep it in the community and would love to speak to people interested in taking them on. We want to hand them on to someone, but to the right person, we don’t want to just give them to anyone,” he continued.
“We have had a few people in touch about them already, some surprising, some less so, but it has been quite interesting some of the people who have been in touch to see how they can help and what we are looking for. There are people who are certainly interested.
“I haven’t really had any proper discussions so far. I have had introductory discussions and been introduced to people, but I haven’t opened any full discussions as of yet as to what that would look like.”
While some experience or knowledge would clearly be beneficial, Mungo is offering to continue in an advisory capacity to impart some of the things he has learned over the last seven years to any potential successor.
He added: “You need some sort of event background, you would need storage for the stuff, bar knowledge and bar equipment, although all of that stuff we do have as we have built up a load of assets throughout.
“We have equipment to run a 40-line beer bar, so all that is available. We have got all the contacts for the contractors we use, suppliers we use, all that will come with it.
“There’s a lot there, it’s no easy task to run an event of that scale, and I would like to keep a small holding in an advisory role as there are lots of things we have done and know what to do. I would like to help with our experience of what we have done and what works best.”
As the country begins to move away from lockdown, there is possibly an opportunity for festivals to be held later this year, although planning such a large-scale event is a monumental task.
Mungo and his brother also ran the Inverurie Beer Festival brand twice a year at Thainstone Exchange and Lochter Activity Centre.
He continued: “There is potential, but it’s not a month planning thing. It takes weeks and months for some things.
“An entertainment licence takes three to four months, licensing takes six weeks, booking marquees, booking bands, it’s not a month’s job. You usually start in January for an August event.”
Anyone interested in taking on either of the events can contact Mungo in the first instance on 01330 538070 or 07772278863.