Festival a real hit with beer fans

Pictured (L-R) are: John Healey MP, Festival organiser Steve Burns, and Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright, at the Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.
Pictured (L-R) are: John Healey MP, Festival organiser Steve Burns, and Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright, at the Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.
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MORE than 11, 000 beer lovers crammed into the Magna Centre last weekend for the 20th annual Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.

Visitors to the festival, named Baa’s of Steel, drank their way through a wide variety of 236 different varieties of Real Ales, ciders, wines and perries.

The festival was officially opened by former pubs minister John Healey MP, who was accompanied by the Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright, who pulled the first pints of the champion beer of the festival – Moonshine, brewed by the Abbeydale brewery.

Entertainment was provided across three stages that brought together some of the best local acts in the business, ranging from Barbershop Quartets to some of the best tribute bands around.

The entertainment culminated in a spectacular show led by the Great Pretender – regarded by many as one of the most realistic Freddie Mercury shows in the UK.

Money raised at the festival is still being counted, but organisers are confident of beating the £35, 000 mark, raised last year.

Proceeds will go to Rotherham Hospice, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, Weston Park Cancer Centre and The Magna Trust.

Organisers are also in negotiations with Voluntary Action Rotherham to create a new fund to support small local charities within the Rotherham borough.

The festival was opened on Wednesday by former pubs minister Rt Hon. John Heeley, MP, who was accompanied by the Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Shaun Wright, who officially opened the festival by pulling the first pints of the champion beer of the festival –Moonshine, brewed by the Abbeydale brewery.

Speaking after the event, festival organiser Stephen Burns said: “The atmosphere inside Magna was electric and I think that a lot of people will have left with fond memories of the event. All early indications suggest that this year has been a record for the festival.”