After every Hopfest I mutter the words “never again” as we dismantle the stage, take out the rubbish, curse as the hop bines scratch my arms…again; then I look at social media and the pictures from the event and think, how can we stop this?
Of course, Hopfest wouldn’t be Hopfest without the many people who make it the event it is, so humour us whilst we hand out a few thanks:
Thank You for the Music: Dirty Spoons, Burnthouse, East Lonesome Drifters, Hollowbelly, Every Mother's Son, Cherry Bomb, Stone Dark Night, Daxx & Roxane, Juke Box Live Band.
Thank You for the People (starting to sound like an ABBA record): DS staff, Graham Lillywhite and family Killner for all their hard work…very much ‘without whom’.
Thank you for feeding the drinkers, and the staff Garlic Wood Farm – truly delicious!
In amongst the bands, burgers and booze, it’s worth remembering that all who attended are doing some good, as profits from the event go to the Dark Star Foundation. Established in March 2013 the Dark Star Foundation works in three key areas: Supporting good causes, funding entrepreneurs and helping people raise more money for charity. Funds are raised through monies paid for brewery tours and a series of fundraising events including 'HopFest' and the Dark Star 7k run held each May. Entries for 2018 funding are now closed and will re-open for 2019 applications in October 2018.
At a time when pubs and the alcohol industry, in general, are getting a hard time, I think it’s important to remember that pubs play a vitally important role in our society and we can see that with charities such as CALM and Prostate Cancer UK using them as a key area to get messaging to men and those battling mental health issues – well done them for feeling confident to back the pub to get the message across. On that note, it’s worth remembering that UK pubs raise over £100M for charity every year, even when it seems like more and more charities are trying to get us to stop drinking to raise money for them – go figure! Interestingly, I recently asked one of these ‘stop drinking’ charities to go online and thank licensees for all they do for charity, the silence was deafening.
Rant, over and thanks again to all of you that made Hopfest possible and if you want to know more about our Foundation you can do so here.