Event Industry News
The summer is in full swing turning London, especially the underground, into a huge sauna. The daily commute has become a humid, unbearable hell and the lack of air conditioned buildings makes for long hot days in the office – you definitely deserve a pint. Peppermint has scoured the capital to give you some of the best beer gardens and rooftop bars that London has to offer, to cool you down this summer with a refreshing beverage al fresco. Read more…
There’s one thing Brits love – possibly more than any other nation on earth: their local pub. Just over the past couple of years, as pubs have gone under in the financial crisis, people have rallied together to bail out their local. It’s become as integral a part of our communities as your local park or job centre.
So while the supermarkets may be ploughing ahead with their cheap beer crate offers and discounted wine,let’s spare a moment for drinking out. A thought for all those moments with friends in stylish bars; the laughs you shared with a mate queuing for that cold lager at last year’s festival; and, of course, sitting at the bar of your local with a rum n’ coke, nibbling on some pork scratchings.
Without further-a-do, here’s five reasons why drinking out trumps bringing a crate home…
1, Beers on draught and wine-by-the-glass
While we often take both of these for granted, these are two reasons you can’t make up when you’re at home.
Every man and woman knows beer on draught is the way a pint is supposed to be drunk. It pours the perfect head and any bar or pub doing it right will serve it the temperature it was born to be served at. This kind of perfect beer is only available across the bar.
And for you wine drinkers, we all know once the bottle is opened at home the stopwatch kicks off to finish it before it goes bad. Sometimes you don’t want that kind of pressure, so why not take a wander down your local and enjoy a glass of something extra special instead?
2, The social buzz where your best ideas bloom
C’mon, admit it! When we’re down the pub with friends, we always have our best ideas. Let’s be honest, having a laugh about a new idea is nine times out of ten the best way to get excited about it.
Who knows, you might even be the world’s next Richard Branson.
3, Trying something new
This one’s fairly obvious, but nonetheless a vital shout out. When you’re in the supermarket you buy what you already know you’re going to like. It’s like some sort of contract you have with yourself: I’ll buy this one because, let’s face it, I’m the one who’s got to lug it home.
It’s not like that when you’re out and about. Instead, most bars will let you try something before you buy it – and you’re far more likely to run into an all-new selection than you are at those chain off licences and supermarkets.
It may just turn out to be your new tipple.
4, Laughing out loud
I’m not saying you can’t have a good laugh at home, but out and about you’re always increasing your chances.
Clubs are set for comic disasters and dancing worthy of YouTube fame; pubs are just waiting for the kind of conversation you only have when you burst out your shell over the frothy head of a Guinness; and festival or event bars are the place you take the weight off your feet for a hearty catch up.
No better place to laugh, eh?
5, Meeting your next best friend
Whether you’re getting on with the bar staff like a house on fire, or you’re being charmed by a co-drinker’s stories, drinking out is one of the world’s best places to meet new people.
You’ll meet some characters, you may even meet your hero, and who knows, you might even wander into your next best friend.
So put down that crate and head on out. There’s a world out there just waiting for you.
Written By Ben Franks, Edited by Laura Thompson
Whether you’re a fire-eater by profession or simply like to be able to make tea at your campsite, a weekend greenfield festival is likely to bring you into contact with a few naked flames. But there’s no need to fear. We’ve compiled a few tips so you can make sure your festival experience is a safe and happy one.
1. Practice makes perfect
Many camping accidents happen because people are using unfamiliar equipment. Don’t leave reading the instructions until you’ve already had your first pint of scrumpy. Try fitting your first ever gas canister or having a practice barbie in the garden at home where there’s both space and easy access to water.
2. It’s good luck to plan for fire
Arrive while it’s light and look for campfire or cooking areas, escape routes, water sources and where to go for help. Read safety notices, and make an escape plan. A tent can burn in seconds, so be prepared to cut your way out. Have water to hand when you cook.
3. A gas canister can become a missile
Never throw a gas canister onto a fire. The explosion will often propel it with some force, which could cause serious injury. If you think there’s a gas canister on a fire or in a burning tent, raise the alarm and make sure everyone stays at least 100 m away.
4. Tents should be 6 m apart to prevent fire spreading
That’s the guidance at some campsites, but you’re unlikely to manage it at even a tiny festival, so be super-vigilant instead. Keep lighted cigarettes and flames away from your tent and take care to extinguish everything fully, especially before sleeping. Use electric torches, never candles, and don’t take flammable liquids.
5. Rules can vary
Much of fire safety is common sense, but organisers consider the site, crowd numbers and culture of that festival before creating specific safety strategies. Some provide communal campfires or heaters, for example, but won’t allow yours. Some have designated cooking areas. Check before you leave so you know what to bring.
6. Your tent can become a bomb
Never change a gas canister inside a tent. It’s not just about inhaling the gas. Add an open flame, and boom! When you’ve had a few drinks it can be frighteningly easy to forget that cigarette in your hand, or the joss-stick you just bought, is alight.
7. It’s not just about the flames
Never cook in your tent or bring in a lighted barbecue. People have died after taking portable barbecues inside for warmth. They give off lethal carbon monoxide for several hours after use and tents with sewn in groundsheets fill up in minutes. Fumes can overcome you before you notice them.
8. There are flares, and flares
A wax garden flare is intended to be safe if handled sensibly, but cheap ones can explode, so some events ban them.
Marine distress flares burn extremely hot and can cause injuries or fires even after they’ve gone out. They are unsafe around crowds and banned from most events.
9. Chinese lanterns are surprisingly destructive
Chinese lanterns (aka sky lanterns or wishes) are banned by many events. Don’t buy them, even if they say they have ‘biodegradeable’ bamboo frames. They each have to come down somewhere and can start fires if still alight. The debris they create, particularly the frames, kill both wildlife and livestock.
10. Your phone is a safety tool
If there’s a fire, call the emergency services and tell them exactly where you are. A mobile will make it easier to do this quickly, and may also be able to provide GPS co-ordinates to help them to find you in a place that may not have an exact address.
Festivals are full of fashion statements, a time to step out of your comfort zone and step into something a bit more ‘out there,’ after all you’re entering a different world for the weekend! With the festival season soon coming to an end (but not completely over) let’s have a look through some highlights from 2014 with some added suggestions!
A sure winner for the girls is the tried and tested denim shorts and wellies combination which is great for the ever changing weather. Classic Levis denim shorts are great for festivals as you can re-wear them with different tops and create a completely different look without having to over pack. If it is guaranteed hot weather why not venture out and buy some Nike trainers to complete the outfit, or some strappy leather sandals?
It’s always a clever idea to bring an extra layer or two as it always gets chilly in the evening, an oversized denim jacket or a fringed leather jacket works perfectly to break up statement prints on jumpsuits, midi skirts or dresses. By embracing the bohemian vibe which is very popular at the moment why not pick up a statement floral kimono or a printed bomber to add to the fabulous outfit underneath?
Looking your best is sometimes hard when you’re sleeping in a tent and don’t have access to hot showers so 2014 came up with some great solutions so that you could cover up your hair while still staying stylish. Floral headbands (a classic), a fedora, floppy hat or even dying your hair a vibrant colour for the weekend and tying it into a messy bun. Another way to quickly update an outfit, and add some colour, is by using a bright coloured lipstick. Make up does not have to be subtle at a festival with people opting for lots of glitter and fluorescent colours around their eyes which will make you look festival ready, even if you don’t feel it.
For all you guys out there grab a pair of skinny jeans, throw on a floral / printed sleeveless shirt and get some some glitter on those cheeks and you’re ready to go. There are plenty of options in regards to patterned jackets and cool printed tees to wear, look to Nick Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah for some great inspiration (see pictures below).
Festival season isn’t quite over yet with Reading & Leeds, Bestival and Festival Number 6 still to come. Make sure you’re completely fashion prepared and enjoy your weekend in style!
Written By Sophie Aristotelous, Edited by Laura Thompson
Our oldest alcohol craft in England is beer. We brew it, drink it and we can’t get enough of it. According to The Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s registered educational charity, the “Beer Academy”, 25 million of us Britons consume in excess of £18 million worth of beer every year.
Match our impressive love for beer with the wild but much-adored British summer season, and you have an abundance of choice for what to drink. But for those of you looking to wet your palettes and try something new this summer, here are 5 ales everyone needs to give a go…
1. London Pride
Brewery: Fuller’s, Chiswick Lane, London
Type: Golden Ale
Alcohol (500ml): 4.7%
For every beer lover, London Pride is a crown jewel. Balancing strong malty flavour with a smooth, carbonated medium body makes for wonderful sunshine drinking.
Light amber in colour, Fuller’s flagship ale shows off aromas of caramel and malted barley. Its complexity comes in the grassy and bitter notes, mixed with dried fruits, which are enjoyed as the beer is moved around the mouth.
2. Old Crafty Hen
Brewery: Morland Brewery, Suffolk
Type: Oak-aged Vintage Ale
Alcohol (500ml): 6.5%
Prefer something a little more full-bodied without going for a winter beer? Morland’s Old Crafty Hen is the perfect tipple for you.
Its rich toffee and malt flavours, combined over caramel and raisin with a rounded bitter finish makes for a beer with packs of character while remaining clean and refreshing.
Bread notes ensure the ale is not too sweet, cementing its place in my five summer ales.
Serve slightly chilled.
3. Doom Bar
Brewery: Sharp’s Brewery, N. Atlantic Coast, Cornwall
Type: Amber Bitter
Alcohol (500ml): 4.3%
This award-winning amber bitter is a superb all-rounder. Its character comes from delicious chocolate and sultana flavours with a thirst-quenching smooth finish.
There is some complexity in small notes of citrus on the tip of the tongue, but what shouts from Doom Bar’s corner is how drinkable it is.
This is the perfect afternoon pint.
Always serve chilled.
4. Golden Champion
Brewery: Badger Ales, Blandford, Dorset
Type: Fruity Golden Ale
Alcohol (500ml): 5.0%
There’s malt lovers, bitter lovers, full body character lovers, but we can’t forget the fruity beer lovers. Sweet, zesty and packed with orange and summer fruit, Badger’s Golden Champion is a light-bodied joy.
Unlike its Badger counterparts, like the Golden Glory, the Champion never seems sickly or clammy, even at room temperatures. Instead you have a confident, charming fruit beer.
5. Golden Hare
Brewery: Bath Ales, Warmley
Type: Light Golden Ale
Alcohol (500ml): 4.4%
Fancy something unbelievably refreshing? Then look no further than Bath Ales’ Golden Hare. Its light, almost-yellow body allures you into its straw, grassy and crisply citrus notes not far off from a top market pale ale.
Bath Ales have worked hard, and this Hare is rounded, smooth and far from gassy. It also ticks all the boxes when it comes to a light summer’s lunch.
Serve slightly chilled.
Remember to be sensible when you’re sipping on these ales, check out the facts here.
Written By Ben Franks, Edited by Laura Thompson
Our guest writer Ben has many more reviews on his website…check them out!
The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, Alt-J and Mystery Jets are among artists supporting an online campaign to encourage UK venues and festivals to work with Attitude Is Everything to improve access for music fans with disabilities.
The charity’s Charter of Best Practice, which currently endorses more than 90 participants at three levels, involves adopting best practice standards and allowing volunteer deaf or disabled “mystery shoppers” to supply detailed feedback on practical accessibility issues. Gold standard accreditations currently include the O2 Arena and Glastonbury, while Latitude and Download have joined this year at Silver level.
The campaign follows publication earlier this year by Attitude Is Everything, whose patrons include Robert Wyatt and Alan McGee, of a UK State Of Access Report based around mystery shopper reports on 228 venues and festivals between 2011 and 2013. A shocking 95% of mystery shoppers reported experience of unequal booking systems. A follow-up survey of the country’s ten leading venues found just two allowing online booking by gig-goers with disabilities, with the rest supplying only a telephone number with limited opening hours. 88% felt discriminated against and 83% had been put off going to the event.
While 66% of venues had a step-free entrance, just 44% had all three key components of physical accessibility: a step-free entrance, step-free routes to all areas and at least one functional accessible toilet. Even more important to gig-goers’ overall accessibility and enjoyment ratings for an event was the provision of a designated viewing platform or area, yet only 42% of venues and 67% of festivals provided this.
The research also revealed a correlation between the size of a venue and its accommodation of visitors with disabilities, with large festivals and venues performing better than smaller in terms of free Personal Assistant tickets and accessible toilets.
The social media campaign, #MusicWithoutBarriers is also supported by the Musicians Union and Featured Artists Coalition and seeks to promote four key messages:
• Improving access to live music doesn’t have to be costly
• There is a strong business case for improving accessibility
• Access information in advance of an event is crucial
• Not all disabled people are wheelchair users
Download promoters Live Nation will now work with Attitude Is Everything toward Gold level Charter accreditation for 2015. Download was praised for its well-equipped and established accessible campsite featuring accessible changing room, showers and toilets with dedicated cleaners plus its own supermarket, information office, lockers and food stall. It has a dedicated entrance, two routes to the arena and plenty of track-way. The Main Stage arena viewing platform has seating, both accessible and standard toilets and power-chair charging, and the festival’s commitment to gathering customer feedback online was described as “a fantastic example”.
The Attitude Is Everything website has a wealth of information for event planners, and you can request Charter accreditation online. Or, if you’re deaf or have a disability, why not sign up as a Mystery Shopper.
What are your experiences, and what’s your favourite festival or venue in terms of accessibility?
France is the most visited country in the world, tourists arrive in their numbers and not for no good reason. As a country, France has it all, culture, cuisine, fine wines, beaches, mountains, cities, countryside and now apparently… music! Not exactly known for their musical prowess, their most famous musical exports being Edith Piaf or Charles Aznavour but in recent years there hasn’t been musical talent on the same scale. The French have become a nation with an eclectic music taste, making for festivals with diverse and international line-ups! Read more…
If you’re a lover of film, then Cambridge is the only place to be seen this August & September. For just over a week the quaint university town is transformed into a celebration of film from across the world, with an itinerary broad enough to please even the most discerning of viewers.
Established in 1977 (and re-launched in 2001 after a five year hiatus) Cambridge Film Festival is the third longest running film festival in the UK, showcasing a wide variety of talent from a diverse array of cultures. Films on offer range from much loved feature length classics to short, and often thought provoking, student made productions. Alongside this, the festival provides a range of other activities including workshops, talks and much anticipated guest speakers, which in the past have included John Hurt, Gary Oldman and Tilda Swinton to name a few. Many big names have also been born out of the festival. Producer and director Christopher Nolan showcased his short film ‘Larceny’ there in 1996, before going on to become one of the most renowned names in film, and Woody Allen remains a close associate of the festival, having premiered several films there over the years.
Whilst many of the film screenings take place in The Arts Picturehouse, the three screen cinema in the heart of Cambridge, there are several other easily accessible venues set up throughout the town meaning it is impossible not to become enthralled by Cambridge’s charm. Other locations for film screenings include Grantchester Meadows by the river Granta, the historic Magdalene Street and at the unique Jesus Green Lido, as well as outdoor screening at the stunning grounds of Childerly Hall. The Festival is also unique in having access to one of the largest inflatable screens in the country, and a team of expert projectionists to enhance the outdoor screening experience.
Any spare time on a Sunday can be spent soaking up the atmosphere in one of Cambridge’s parks where you will be treated to free music by Jazz and Brass bands as part of Cambridge’s Summer In The City Program. Don’t be surprised if you run across some familiar faces in the process; what makes the Cambridge Festival so special is that it attracts big names but in an intimate and approachable atmosphere.
Although the official program of events is yet to be released, chances are this years festival is set to be one of the best yet. Highlights from 2013 included Andrew Mudge’s profoundly visual story ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’, which became winner of Golden Punt Best Fiction Feature Audience Award, and Schmitt and Fuller’s remarkable creation ‘Rhino Full Throttle’, which landed them the Audience Award For Best Short Film.
With tickets set to sell quickly, interested parties should book early to avoid disappointment. A unique celebration of cinema both past, present and future, the Cambridge Film Festival is certainly not an event to be missed.
Cambridge Film Festival runs from 28th August to the 7th September. For tickets, book online or contact the Box Office on 08719025720. Tickets can also be purchased from the Festivals main venue, the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse.
Written by Alice Hall, Edited by Laura Thompson
England has some of the biggest and best music festivals around, however, what our fair isle doesn’t have is fair weather conditions. Sets are often interrupted by impromptu downpours and festival-goers left sodden and uncomfortable. It was well publicised that an electrical storm caused Glastonbury to cut off the power to the main outdoor stages, including the pyramid stage, at the festival this year causing Rudimental’s set to finish early. To catch some summer sunshine, Brits are heading abroad to see their favourite bands and artists as well as attending the festivals here in the UK. Big name events such as Tomorrowland in Belgium, Hide Out in Croatia and Benicasssim in Spain cater for a largely British taste, and it is possible to go to several festivals in one go with an InterRail pass. Read more…
After 11 days of competitive sport taking place in Scotland the Commonwealth Games have drawn to a close for Glasgow 2014. It was a fantastic opportunity for Glasgow to show off their beautiful city and for Britain to show off their spectacular talents. England won 174 medals – consisting of 58 golds, 59 silvers and 57 bronzes – resulting in Glasgow being officially England’s best Commonwealth Games in history (as well as beating Australia the the first time in 28 years!).
Some highlights included watching Usain Bolt, the 6 time Olympic champion who won yet another gold medal during the Commonwealth games. Despite the 23 year old English Danny Talbot loosing to Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100m relay, the sprinter said he’d trained all his life to race against Bolt since he broke his first world record in the 100m in Beijing 2008- a true honour for him. Another impressive competitor was the English gymnast Claudia Fragapane, at the young age of 16 she managed to win a staggering 4 gold medals during the games with her fabulous floor routine being a particular highlight. Fragapane has an exciting career ahead of her and is certainly one to watch in the Rio Olympics 2016 where she’ll compete again. Scottish born 13 year old Erraid Davies competed in the SB9 100m Breaststroke and made history by becoming the youngest person to ever compete at the Commonwealth games, as well as winning a Bronze medal contributing to Scotland’s fourth place in the Commonwealth Games with 53 medals in total.
As ever, the closing ceremony at Hampden Park provided a wonderful ending to the Commonwealth games in Glasgow with over 6.8 million viewers switching on back home . Kylie Minogue stole the show with her 7 song set with the Australian athlete Genevieve LaCaze coming on stage briefly celebrating her 25th Birthday in true style- a day I’m sure she’ll never forget! Scottish bands Lulu and Deacon Blue also made appearances with lots of fireworks, tartan, dancing and signing which concluded the amazing Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014. So for now Peppermint say a big goodbye to Scotland after setting up camp for the past few weeks, but don’t worry we’ll be back for the Glasgow Summer Sessions….be sure to see us there with a chilled beer (or some of our new favourite Irn Bru!)
Written by Anthony Pilling, Edited by Laura Thompson