Crowds expected at lager festival

LORNA MARSH The region's first ever lager festival was gearing up for a busy weekend last night after a slow start. Norwich Lager Festival, which is also believed to be the first of its kind in the country, saw about 200 people through its doors on Wednesday.

LORNA MARSH

The region's first ever lager festival was gearing up for a busy weekend last night after a slow start.

Norwich Lager Festival, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country, saw about 200 people through its doors on Wednesday, but organisers said that was the figure they had expected for its first day.

Justin Knox, one of the organisers of the event at St Andrews Hall, said hundreds of advance tickets had been sold for the weekend. He added that the first two days of the festival were being seen as a warm-up for tonight and tomorrow, which were expected to be much busier, and to make sure any problems were ironed out.


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The festival runs up to and including Monday night and will offer lager fans 350 draught and bottled varieties from around the world and as far away as Mongolia and Tahiti. For those who favour alternatives to the nation's favourite tipple there is also a range of wines, soft drinks and alcopops.

A barbeque will also run daily in dry weather. Entertainment includes live bands and games including a ride-on bucking sheep, a surf simulator, outsize Jenga and Connect Four, arcade games and the human buzz wire challenge, in which one person wears a hat with a wire loop and sensor while two others guide them through an electric course.

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The event has been organised by the Wildman pub and a small group of business people. Mr Knox, 31, who is also landlord of the Wildman, said: "Norwich already has an annual beer festival, but we wanted to take it to the next level and lager seemed the obvious choice. While we want people to enjoy themselves I want to stress that we expect people to drink responsibly.

"There are more people in this country who drink lager than beer I believe that lager needs a bit more promotion and it would be nice to see a wider selection in pubs."

The event was thought up by Mr Knox's father 10 years ago and now Mr Knox has brought it to fruition after six months of planning.

Admission is £10, which includes a commemorative pint glass and 20 tokens to buy up to two drinks, which are less expensive than in pubs.

See www.lagerfest.com or call 01603 615466 between 9am and 12pm for more information.

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