ALE Spring 2005 No. 317 : Next section

[Campaign for Real Ale logo © CAMRA]

Your Beer Festival Needs You!

I worked behind the Bar on the Saturday of the 29th Cambridge Beer Festival. Nothing remarkable in that, you might say, but that astonishingly busy day markedly changed my life. The 32nd Cambridge Beer Festival this year (Monday 23rd - Saturday 28th May) will be my fourth as a volunteer, which I consider less than adequate recompense for all the fun I've had in the past as a customer...

Whilst I was working the bar that day, the Organiser, Shaun Marsh, decided that he wanted me to be a part of the stewarding team for the 30th. As I work in publishing, I have some journalistic and PR experience in addition to my sales and marketing role, so I also got involved on that side. For the 31st and 32nd, I've been one of Shaun's Deputy Organisers and have basically acquired a part-time job.

What you probably don't realise whilst reading this is the hundreds, if not thousands, of unpaid hours that go into organising and delivering this festival. What you also probably don't realise is just how much fun it is, how physically demanding it can be and how exhilarating it is to provide Cambridge's first festival of the summer. We are the oldest and longest-running CAMRA Beer Festival in the country, and we're really, really proud to be able to say that we're a part of it. Cambridge isn't just about the beer - the people, whether volunteer staff or customers, are the heart and soul of it all.

You, too, could be making new friends, learning new skills, drinking new beers and eating strange cheeses! There is no experience required (though we'd appreciate some plumbers, electricians and carpenters!), we'll provide training as necessary, and we're pretty flexible on hours. During set-up (Shaun will be on site near Jesus Lock from 16th May) we work from around seven o'clock in the morning through to the early hours of the next day, depending on tasks that need finishing and available bodies. Meals are provided based on hours worked. Can you drive a truck? A fork lift? Are you a First Aider? Do you want to help put up fences and barrels, or escort contractors on and off site? Do you fancy running round Cambridge doing last minute odd-jobs? Do you want to work behind the bars or food counter?

For more information on how to become part of the Festival team, please contact James Wells, our Staffing Officer, on 01223 560660 - he'll be really pleased to hear from you. If you have a query regarding publicity or sponsorship, you can contact Debbie Grossman on in the first instance. More importantly, even if it's at the last minute, come down to the site to volunteer, even it's only for a few hours. You'll enjoy it! And you may just get a new unpaid job which will change your life too.

Steve Jackson
Deputy Organiser

ALE Spring 2005 No. 317 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA