Ale and music festival raises record £35,000 for charity

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BOTTLES of foaming beer were popped yesterday to celebrate the success of this year’s Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.

Festival organiser Stephen Burns, along with members of each of the five charities set to benefit from the event, met to raise a glass to the festival as details of the funds raised were revealed.

More than 10,000 beer and music lovers supported the music and ale festival held back in March, which raised a record-breaking £35,000 for charity.

It was the first time that the four-day event had been held at the Magna centre in Rotherham, having previously been staged at Oakwood Technology College.

Yesterday, cheques were handed over to representatives from Rotherham Hospice, Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, children’s homelessness charity Safe@last and the Magna Trust.

Details of next year’s 20th annual festival - thought to be the biggest beer festival in the North and the biggest hand pulled cask ale festival in the UK - were also revealed.

A spokesman for the Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival said: “Several bars in seven distinct areas means the Rotherham Real Festival is unrivalled in presenting real ale on hand pump.

“Despite its size, the festival retains the same friendly and exciting atmosphere that has made it so popular since it began in 1992.

“The purpose of the festival is to support local charities that help children throughout South Yorkshire.”

The 2012 festival will run from Wednesday, February 29 to Saturday, March 3. Details of tickets will be made available in January.