WHAT: The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven has officially twinned with the Internationaal Streekbierenfestival Zwevegem in Flanders.
WHEN: The Happening is a celebration of the craft of brewing, along with great street food and top musical entertainment held from Thursday, June 15, to Saturday, June 17
WHERE: The Happening will be held in a purpose-built marquee in Stonehaven’s Baird Park.
WHO: The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven is a not-for-profit event organised by local beer fans.
CONTACT: Organiser Robert Lindsay on 07840 678243 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven – which returns in two weeks time – has gone international by twinning with one of the biggest beer festivals in Belgium.
The hugely-popular north-east event – which draws thousands of people from across Scotland, the UK and Europe – has joined forces with the Internationaal Streekbierenfestival Zwevegem in Flanders, one of the biggest events of its kind in Belgium.
In a joint statement, organisers of both festivals say: ““Nothing brings people together like beer, community and good times – even transcending international borders.
“We share a passion for the finest beer and a commitment to bringing the people of our communities – and further afield – together. Underlying all of this is the drive to help charities and good causes that make lives better in the places where we live.”
Both now aim to work together to learn and support from each other and to promote the festivals at home and abroad
Robert Lindsay, organiser of the Midsummer Beer Happening, said: “The Midsummer Beer Happening has learned so much from Belgian beer festivals, including Zwevegem, over the years. Indeed, they were in many ways a template for what we do and the success that has followed.
“We have a particular affinity with the Zwevegem festival – we are both run entirely by volunteers, we are both committed to raising funds for local good causes and we both strive to make our community a better place.
“It seems only natural that we recognise and celebrate that with this twinning, that will help put both festivals in the spotlight at home and abroad.”
To mark the milestone move the Happening, which will run from Thursday June 15 to Saturday June 17 in a purpose-built marquee in Baird Park, will welcome Zwevegem founder and organiser Yvan Devlaminck as a guest of honour.
“We are looking forward to having Yvan with us this year and we know he will receive the warmest of welcomes here in the north-east of Scotland,” said Robert.
The first Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven was held in 2105, following on from the Stonehaven Real Ale Festival, which began 2009.
It now attracts more than 6,000 people over the course of the three day event, which offers more than 150 of the finest beers, an al-fresco street food court with award-winning vendors and entertainment from the cream of north-east musicians.
The beer festival has raised almost £250,000 for local charities since it first began 14 years ago.
Yvan said he was looking forward to his first visit to Stonehaven and seeing the Happening in full swing.
He said: “This twinning of two international beer festivals is a unique event and we are happy and proud to be the first to do this.
“Making connections across borders like this can only be enriching for each other. The aim should be to exchange ideas, inform and support each other to make both festivals even better and to give an even greater international image.
“Our Scottish friends have been present at our festival for a number of years now and for us this formal link is also an expression of the prevailing friendship between the two organizations”
The open-air Flanders event has been running since 2001 and is held on August 14 and 15 each year, filling the streets of Zwevegem with 12,000 visitors, drawn by the more than 200 regional beers on offer.
Also run entirely by volunteers it is built on the “three pillars of culture, conviviality and family friendliness.”
For more information on the Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven visit msbh.co.uk.
For more information on the Internationaal Streekbierenfestival Zwevegem visit www.flanderseventsvzw.be
NOTE: The joint statement from the Midsummer Beer Happening and the Internationaal Streekbierenfestival Zwevegem reads as follows:
Nothing brings people together like beer, community and good times – even transcending international borders.
Which is why Scotland’s Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven and Belgium’s Internationaal Streekbierenfestival Zwevegem in Flanders have stretched out a welcoming hand to each other to twin these much-loved and hugely popular events.
We share a passion for the finest beer and a commitment to bringing the people of our communities – and further afield – together. Underlying all of this is the drive to help charities and good causes that make lives better in the places where we live.
It almost uncanny that both festivals, each run entirely by a band of enthusiastic volunteers and attracting people in their thousands every year, have grown up separate from each other but with such common values and beliefs.
Now is the time to bring those qualities together so we can learn from each other, support each other, build on our shared passion and spread the word about what we do and why we do it, at home and abroad.
This terrific twinning gets off to a roaring start this June when organisers from Zwevegem will visit Stonehaven to enjoy the Midsummer Beer Happening – and Team Happening will make a reciprocal visit to enjoy the street festival in Flanders this August.
In years to come we will see those bonds grow and strengthen along with a sense of shared community and friendship, making both events truly international affairs.
Contact: Organiser Robert Lindsay on 07840 678243 or at email@example.com