The Festival will be back at the Alban Arena Wednesday 25th - Saturday 28th September 2024.

The Festival is non-profit making. The event is organised and staffed entirely by volunteers, and all of our proceeds go towards campaigning and local charities. Not only does that benefit the local community but it means we can offer you much better value than commercially-run beer festivals.

Frequently asked questions

Who organises the Festival, and where do the proceeds go?

The Festival is organised by the South Hertfordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). All those directly involved in organising the event are volunteers, as are most of the Festival staff you will see during your visit. All proceeds from the Festival go towards CAMRA's campaigning activities or are donated to local charities.

I'm confused by your pricing - the poster says admission starts at £1.50 but your online tickets are more expensive?

For admission only, our on-the-door prices range from £1.50 (for CAMRA members) or £3 (for non members) on Wednesday and Thursday, to £2.50 (members) or £5 (non-members) on Friday and Saturday. Our online tickets cost more because most of them also include a £10 beer token and a souvenir glass. Overall, you'll save money by buying tickets online.

Will a season pass save me money?

If you are planning to visit the Festival on more than three separate occasions, purchasing a season pass may save you money. Please note the season pass does not include beer tokens or a glass deposit.

What if I don't spend the whole value of my beer token?

When you decide to leave the festival, you can claim a refund for any value remaining on your token card(s) as you exit. Alternatively, you can choose to donate any money remaining on your card to charity.

What if I don't want a souvenir glass?

You'll need a glass to get served at the Festival and, unless you bring your own, that will mean paying a £5 deposit for one of our souvenir pint or half-pint glasses. However, if you don't want to take it home with you, no worries - you can return it and claim your £5 deposit back as you leave the Festival.

Do you accept payment by credit/debit cards?

Yes, as well as cash, we also accept all major credit and debit cards for the purchase of token cards and glass deposits. Most of our food vendors also accept cash or card payment. Make sure you bring some cash if you want to use our coin-operated football table though!

Can I bring my children to the festival?

Yes, we welcome well-behaved and properly supervised children in the venue but only up until 6pm. There is no additional admission charge for children. Please do not allow anyone under 18 who you are supervising to approach the bars, as they cannot be served. Soft drinks are available from the food servery in the main hall.

Can I bring my pet dog to the festival?

Unfortunately, due to Alban Arena policy, no dogs (or other pets) are permitted in the venue, except for guide/assistance dogs.

Can I try a beer or cider before I buy?

If you're not sure whether you'll enjoy a product, we can offer a limited number of tasters, but please don't abuse this - remember we're a non-profit making event and we're working to very fine margins. We serve all draught beer and cider in thirds of a pint, so we recommend buying in this quantity if you want to try as many as possible.

How long after closing time do I have to finish my drinks?

In line with our alcohol licence, there is 20 minutes drinking-up time after the bars close, and we ask customers to please respect this.

Can I take beer or cider away from the Festival?

Unfortunately, due to a recent change in the law, we are now unable to offer draught beer or cider in take-away containers, or to allow you to decant drinks into your own take-away container. We know this is annoying and we wish it wasn't the case, but unfortunately it's what the law now says. If you want to take some great beer home to continue the Festival back at your place, we can offer you bottles from our International Bar.

I've had my picture taken by your official photographer - where will it end up?

Pictures taken by our official photographer are published on our social media channels, and may also appear on our website or in future publicity materials (e.g. leaflets or posters). If you have any concerns about your image being used in this way, please mention this to the photographer at the time, or ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team

How do I raise a concern about the behaviour of a customer?

We ask all our visitors to drink responsibly and show respect for fellow Festival-goers. Incidents are very rare at our Festival but if you do see something getting out of hand, or have any concerns, please mention it to a Festival volunteer or ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team.

How do I raise a concern or complaint about the Festival or its staff?

Please bear in mind that the vast majority of people involved in running the Festival are volunteers. The only exception to this are staff running our food franchises, members of the Alban Arena team, and some security personnel. But if you have any complaint or concern to raise, we absolutely want to listen and make things right - please ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team. Alternatively, if you would prefer to get in touch by email, see the "contact us" page on this website.

How can I become a Festival volunteer?

We're always looking for new volunteers and we have a wide variety of roles available to suit different skills, interests, and levels of physical ability. If you would like to know more about becoming a volunteer in advance of the Festival, please either sign up using the form on this website or, if you have questions first, email Dave at staffing@stalbansbf.org.uk. If you'd like to have a chat at the Festival about volunteering in future years, please ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team.