Will tickets be sold in advance? If so, can you please post details?
I can remember queuing for quite a while on the Saturday night last time the
festival was in Manchester.
Short answer - no! We don't sell tickets for NWAF, it's strictly pay as
you enter (and no smoking, no spitting and no standing on the top deck).
In the past this has been a problem for some people because of the size
of our old venue. Our fire limit was much lower than the number of
people who wanted to attend, so there were long queues on Friday night
The next festival (January) will take place at a different venue which
has considerably greater capacity. Although there may be some queuing at
peak times (e.g. 7 pm on a Friday night), we don't expect to be turning
anyone away this time.
Keep an eye on the CAMRA website for more details -
(BTW, I'm not joking about the no smoking bit - the venue (New Century
Hall) is strictly no smoking.)
Further to my previous post: we've now had another meeting to discuss
this event, and it seems that the fire limit for the venue will not be
quite as high as we had hoped. It will still be better than at our
previous venue (Upper Campfield Market) but it probably means that there
will be queues on the Friday night.
Obviously I've no idea how long they'll be, but I do recommend that
visitors come to an earlier session if at all possible. This time round
we'll be opening on the Wednesday evening as well as Thursday, Friday
A change too on the smoking policy - it's not zero tolerance as we'd
thought at first, the Co-op does allow smoking in its exhibition hall.
The organising committee is thinking of allowing smoking, /except/
within three feet or so of the bar (and obviously not behind the bar in
Check this page nearer the time for full details:
Thanks for the update Neil.
Living out of the area and due to work on the Saturday afternoon, the only
real opportunity to attend will be the Saturday evening session, with an
overnight stay (hotel already booked).
Personally, I would feel much better if I had an advance ticket in my hand
so that I could concentrate on drinking, not queuing.
Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
Three feet? Pointless, if you ask me. Why not do it properly and ban
it completely. Is the reduced fire limit, as I've heard, due to there
being less floor space available than was opriginally planned?
I shall put your views on smoking to t'Committee. It does strike me as
being difficult to police, but then that's a problem for the stewards.
Yes, apparently there is another event taking place elsewhere in the
building. (I've heard mention of a record fair - might be of interest to
I did raise this with t'Committee. They're very anti-tickets, on the
grounds that you have to keep space available in the hall for people who
may or may not show up later.
If someone buys a ticket in advance, OK, that helps our cash flow, but
it may mean that we turn people away at 8 pm because we're still
expecting 24 people with tickets. And if they don't then show their
faces until 10 pm, they're not going to drink anything like as much of
our beer as people who've been there since 8.
Anyway, if there /is/ queuing this time round, it will be in much more
comfortable circumstances compared with our old venue - you'll be
queuing under cover and in the relative warmth of the New Century Hall
[OT] Why is it called a foyer anyway? It's a French word meaning
fireplace or hearth, but I've never seen a fire in a British foyer.
I think he was referring to the problem of ejecting "offenders".
At Stockport we take the view that enforcement of the hall's smoking ban is
not the responsibility of the CAMRA stewards. A quiet word may be had in the
occasional ear, but no more than that. Few smoke, though.
"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime
and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of civilisation in any
country." (Winston Churchill)
It is making unnecessary difficulties for the stewards if smoking is
allowed except within three feet of the bar. As in pubs, demarcation
doesn't work. What exactly have the organisers got against a smoke
free hall? Better for punters and staff. Bury have successfully run
one for two years. If the NWAF wants more volunteers, as apparently it
does, it should show more concern about the welfare of its staff.
The latest news on smoking and NWAF is that "it is entirely a NO SMOKING
venue" (quote from minutes of the last meeting of the organising
committee). My understanding is that it's a condition imposed by the
venue owner (Co-operative Group).
I had a quick look at the venue today, on a tour of inspection with some
of t'Committay. It's hard to imagine how it will look when it's full of
beer, but my gut feeling is that there will be more room for the
drinking public. This is not so much because the hall itself is larger,
it may not be much bigger than our old venue. But we have access to a
number of smaller rooms for things like glass storage and staff rooms,
so they don't take up space in the main hall. (The staff room in the
past was behind the bars.)