Festival cheers record crowds

Pocktober - Brass castle brewery
Pocktober - Brass castle brewery

RECORD crowds gathered in Pocklington over the weekend for the biggest ever Pocktoberfest.

Around 1,300 people attended the event which was held at the old railway station building on Station Road for the first time.

Pocktober fest

Pocktober fest

Another change to this year’s beer-tasting bonanza was the addition of a music festival on Sunday, which was headlined by 80’s rocker Billy Bragg.

There were also performances from Seth Lakeman, Hayseed Dixie, Thea Gilmore, ahab, 3 Daft Monkeys and Tristan Clopet.

Drinkers enjoyed a wide range of about 30 real ales, including three from Pocklington’s own brewery, Brass Castle, and two from the Big River Brewery in Brough.

Janet Farmer, manager of the Pocklington Arts Centre, which organised the event along with the Round Table, said: “It was truly amazing. Such a fabulous atmosphere both days.

Pocktober - Singer/songwriter Tom Morris from Pock

Pocktober - Singer/songwriter Tom Morris from Pock

“It was more than what we were expecting. Everyone entered into the spirit of the whole weekend.”

According to Janet, Sunday’s music festival helped attract a whole new audience to Pocktoberfest.

She said: “I certainly think it added to the atmosphere and on Sunday I think we brought a whole new audience. The emphasis was on it being a music festival rather than a beer festival. So it’s maybe people who wouldn’t have come to the beer festival but were interested in music.”

Revellers from all over Britain, including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh, travelled to Pocklington for the event.

Pocktober - Sisters, Kate Blackmore and Emma Cox

Pocktober - Sisters, Kate Blackmore and Emma Cox

Many people have been leaving feedback on the internet about how impressed they were with the festival and how it benefited the local economy.

James Duffy, the assistant manger of the Arts Centre, said: “We’ve had a lot of feedback on Facebook and Twitter for the Arts Centre and Pocktoberfest pages. It’s all about it being really friendly but also the boost to the local economy because all the local hotel and caravan sites were sold out and all the pubs were packed because not everybody stayed for the entire duration.

“The feedback has been amazing.”

Although organisers have received positive feedback about the live music over the two days, they have yet to decide whether next year’s Pocktoberfest will also include a music festival.

James said: “It’s the first time so everyone needs a few days to think about it. But so far the feedback has been exceptionally positive.”

Organisers have thanked all the volunteers for the help and support at the weekend.

Funds raised from the annual event have yet to be worked out but will be donated to local causes.