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  • DaveC

Where do we go from here?

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

One minute the blog starts with good old Oscar Wilde and the next minute we’re ripping off 80’s knitwear loving, pop supremos, Haircut 100. That’s eclectic for you.

In fact, the 18 year old Yours Truly was heavily influenced by the fashion of Nick Heyward and the lads, but the least said of my Arran jumper, tucked into baggy, stonewashed jeans the better.

Well, somewhat predictably, the “roadmap” eventually sent us all off course, delaying us on our journey by 4 weeks. That 4 weeks has been a huge additional blow to the already savaged events and hospitality industry and many festivals have had to be cancelled at very short notice. Fair play then, to our friends over at Chilfest, who have very quickly manoeuvred to postpone their event for just 2 weeks to put it on the right side of 19th July. I know how long that gig takes to set up and believe me there is going to be some hard work ahead of them to pull it off. All of us at ACBF wish them the best of luck.

Our event already being on the good side of 19th July, has meant that we are carrying on with preparations for ACBF9 as usual. We are trimming back in some areas, particularly where expenditure doesn’t directly result in income. Although it seems odd that we would cut advertising in this drive to save money, we’re actually doing pretty well on ticket sales - easily exceeding 2019 with 6 weeks still to go. So we won’t be appearing in the CAMRA publications or some other local magazines.

It has also been suggested that we should look at reducing our cask ale offer as well. As many of you will know, once a cask has been vented, it cannot be sent back unused, so every time we smash that little wooden peg into the belly of a firkin, we’re committing to about £120 expenditure on average. Times this by 73 and you can see a big bill ahead of you - in fact, we need to sell 2200 pints just to break even. Basically 30% of all our cask ale needs to be sold before we make a penny.

It’s definitely an area where we could cut costs, but ACBF has a tradition of offering a wide variety of produce for people to try and we don’t really want to change that. Coupled with decent ticket pre-sales and a predicted capacity crowd on Saturday, we think we’ll probably leave things as they are.

As we wait for the new Step 4 date to kick in just 10 days before our festival, we’ve established that there are three key “freedoms” that need to be reinstated for ACBF to be viable:

1. Restrictions removed on the number of people that can meet outside.

2. Allowing people to order their drinks at the bar.

3. Dancing!

If any of these don’t happen, then it‘s “put on your Big Boys Trousers“ time and we’ll have a difficult decision ahead of us. We’re all used to mask wearing, sanitising, elbow bumping and ruining our shirts by sneezing on them all the time, but fundamentally we can’t deal with table service at ACBF and who wants to stand stock still in front of Love Distraction, The Mighty Hoo Haas or The Dirty Dog Band?

We’re hoping for what’s been promised; a removal of all restrictions. But we know that this virus has had a nasty habit of surprising us, so we will wait until the government announce what post 19th July will look like and then we’ll make the right decision for the festival and most importantly for the safety of our guests and volunteers.

In the meantime, it really helps when our followers on social media share our posts and tag their friends, so please continue doing that. It will help ensure that attendance is high, the party atmosphere is huge and that we sell those darn 2200 pints by Saturday lunchtime!

Take it easy and cheers!


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