WHILE the 5,000 or so attendees won't be able to enjoy the festival's annual activities, they are still being invited to join Tynedale's premier beer festival this year.

Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival, which would have been taking place at Tynedale Rugby Club in Corbridge between June 18 and 21, will now be held 'at home' on Facebook on the evenings of June 19 and 20.

The annual festival was postponed due to coronavirus, however, musical entertainment originally lined up will be broadcast on Facebook.

Ian Cave, of the Tynedale Lions Club and chairman of the festival committee, said: "When we had to postpone the 2020 festival until next year, we were all really disappointed.

"Each year, thousands of visitors from all over the region and beyond flock to the festival to enjoy the beers, ciders, food and entertainment on offer.

"It’s a big event in the Tynedale calendar and each year we raise thousands of pounds for local good causes.

"When one of our team suggested that we might try to recreate some of the festival spirit online, we all thought it was a great idea and immediately rose to the challenge.

"In just over a week, we have pulled together a fantastic programme of entertainment for our usual festival fans to enjoy.”

As well as lining up two evenings of live and pre-recorded musical entertainment, the team is hoping that people will be encouraged to create their own festival at home by ordering in beers from the local breweries, many of whom are still brewing and delivering to customers.

Similarly, the street food vendors whichwould have been appearing at the festival are being approached to find out where they are trading that weekend and if they can contribute ideas and recipes for people to try at home too.

Tynedale Beer & Cider festival ‘at home’ will also be trying to replace some of the lost income for the festival and it’s good causes by running a Just Giving fundraising campaign alongside the virtual event.

Mr Cave added: “We would love it if everyone who would have come along to the festival could donate the price of a ticket or a couple of beers to the fundraising campaign – all the team and musicians involved are giving their time for free and we’d love to raise as much money as possible for the four great local charities that we have chosen plus the Tynedale Rugby Club itself which does so much good work in the local community too”.

Music acts that have confirmed so far are Ash from Blistered Molly, Sarah and Stu from Liberty Belle, Stratosphonic, Bad Bob from Ma Kelly’s Boys, Oil Slick Mick from Ma Kelly’s Boys and Marty Craggs. More details to follow as the programme is being worked on currently.

The charities and good causes which are supported by the festival this year are Journey which helps people with complex learning disabilities, Chrysalis Club Tynedale which works with those living with dementia and their families, Northumberland County Blind Association, West Northumberland Foodbank and Tynedale Rugby Club.

To watch the ‘at home’ Tynedale Beer & Cider Festival, all you need is access to the internet and to visit the festival’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tynedalebeerfestival to watch the broadcast which will be happening on June 19 and 20 between 7pm and 10pm.