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Pocktoberfest 2014 - Beer we go again!

We’re proud to say that it’s now 11 years and counting for Pocktoberfest – and we’re looking forward to this year’s event as much as ever.  Our 2014 event proved a massive success at Pocklington Rugby Club and raised raised just short of £9,000 for charity! 

Our ethos has always been, and will remain, the same – to raise as much as we can for local charities by making Pocktoberfest one of the town’s premier events and an absolute ‘must’ on everyone’s social calendar. 

So how did we get to where we are today? It was 2002 when the seeds were sown our very own tribute to the Munich Oktoberfest during a visit by Pete Cowan and his Round Table colleagues to the legendary Bavarian extravaganza.

First thoughts during that ‘fact finding’ trip were to host the event in Pocklington town centre, to the accompaniment of marquees and traditional ‘oompah’ bands. After we’d all sobered up however, it was clear that some careful planning was needed and thus the serious thinking got underway.

First priority was a venue and so it was with the help of our friends at Pocklington Arts Centre that the event was truly born. For the next seven years, Manager Janet Farmer and Assistant Manager James Duffy were wonderful in playing mine hosts to the Pocktoberfest, letting us fill the Arts Centre with beer and people every year.

Yet in the aftermath of Pocktoberfest 2010, it was clear that a rethink was needed. It had been our most successful festival yet, raising more than £3,000 for a host of local charities. But it was also clear to everyone concerned that we had become victims of our own success – quite simply we had more people wanting to come in over the weekend than we could safely accommodate. Pocklington Arts Centre, our home since the first festival in 2004, was bursting at the seams and we had to think about relocating. And so began the planning of a new era for Pocktoberfest. 

With Pocklington Arts Centre working hard on securing a musical line-up befitting of our festival, we approached Pocklington School to discuss the possibility of housing the festival and, with huge thanks to them, we secured  their Sports Centre as the venue for 2011.

But this wasn’t just any old school sports centre. Some 40 years ago it was still Pocklington Railway Station, with dozens of trains rattling through daily. But then the line closed and when the school took over the building, it was converted into a huge multi-purpose sports centre. It remains an architectural gem and thus was a fitting venue for our Pocktoberfest from 2011 to 2013.

While the opening day – Saturday – was intended as a day for true beer fans, with the opportunity to sample some of the most diverse brews around, there was huge excitement that thanks to the efforts of Janet and James from Pocklington Arts Centre some of the most respected musical acts in the UK and indeed the world would playing in the hall on the Sunday. And what a day it turned out to be, with Pocktoberfest playing host to the likes of Billy Bragg, Seth Lakeman, Thea Gilmore, ahab and Hayseed Dixie.

How could we top that? We had a good go at it...legendary 80s rockers Echo and the Bunnymen, original 'Britpop' band Ocean Colour Scene and festival stalwarts Guillemots no less all appeared at Pocktoberfest 2012 with the Pockteroberst 2013 stage graced by no less than Richard Hawley, Glen Tilbrook, Josh Ritter and many more wonderful bands.

In 2014, due to essential building work at the Old Railway Station, we had to make a change of venue, head back to our roots and focus on the beer again, bringing you Pocklington's premier beer festival at Pocklington Rugby Club.  That proved a massive success, beyond all our expectations, and raised a huge £9,000 for national and local charities.

And so on to our 12th Pocktoberfest in 2015, and back to Pocklington Rugby Club for another festival of awsome local beers, bands and people.  From everyone in Pocklington and Market Weighton Round Table and the Pocktoberfest Committee, all that’s left to say for now is please support us and we look forward to welcoming you and your friends to Pocktoberfest 2014 – Cheers! Prost! Salut! Sláinte! Proost!

See you on the 10th of October!