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When is the Festival? Wednesday 7th to Saturday 10th October 2020
Where is the Festival? The venue is once again the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham. The event takes place both inside the arena and in two outdoor areas, where the live music is featured.
What are the opening hours? 11am-11pm Thursday - Saturday / 5pm-11pm Wednesday | Trade session 1pm to 4pm Wednesday, by invitation only, except for CAMRA members.
Is Corporate Hospitality available this year? Details of hospitality packages have now been finalised and will cater for both small and large groups and can be tailored to meet individual requirements. For more information please email Festival Hospitality or visit our dedicated page for updates. (This item to be updated for 2020)
How do I get to the Festival? The Motorpoint Arena is a fifteen-minute walk from the train station and the Old Market Square. Map
Is there a site plan of the Festival? A site/groundplan is available here and a preview (from 2018) video here
What security precautions are in place? The Arena operates strict bag and search policies in the light of the Manchester Arena tragedy. Please do not bring bags to the festival if possible, although a limited left luggage facility will be available in the foyer. If you do have to bring a bag make sure it is not left unattended at any time. All customers will be subject to a search outside the venue via wand before entering. (Rev. 26.07.2018)
Is parking at the venue available? The Arena has no parking of its own, however there are several public car parks in the vicinity.
Let's get down to business - what is there to drink? There will be over one thousand different draught real ales and over 250 real ciders and perries, covering every imaginable style, including vegan options. Check out the 2019 beer lists here. Check out the 2019 cider list here. Please be aware there will be continuous adjustments to the lists up to the start of the Festival. You can also download the 2019 programme here. (This item to be updated for 2020)
Will all the beers listed be available all the time? Around 700 beers will be on sale from the start, as these run out they are replaced by beers marked as RES (reserve) in the programme. By late Saturday evening we usually still have a few hundred beers on sale, more than most festivals start with. By the way we never run out, rumours that this has happened in the past are merely urban myths. (This item to be updated for 2020)
Do you have any gluten free beer?

We aim to have the widest possible choice of gluten free real ales as we can possibly obtain. The number available nationally has increased significantly in recent months. A list will appear on this web site about ten days before the festival. All of our ciders and perries are gluten free. 2019 updates are available here. (This item to be updated for 2020)

What is 'unfined beer'? Given enough time beer will clear naturally, but there is often not time to allow it to settle in the cellar for a couple of weeks or more, while nature does it's thing. So it has long been the practice to add a suspension of tropical fish swim bladders mixed with sodium metabisulphite (a disinfectant and preservative). This is called isinglass and many beers at our festival will be cleared by this method. The process is known as fining the beer. So look out for beers marked as “Unfined” at our festival and give them a try, we think you will agree it is worth it. And of course these beers are suitable for vegans to enjoy.
Do you have vegan friendly beers? We aim to offer a good range of beers that are suitable for vegans. The number of such beers has increased considerably in recent months and it is probable that around 15% of the total number of beers on sale will be vegan friendly, hopefully more. All our ciders and perrys are vegan friendly.
Do you sell lager? We sell some cask conditioned lagers i.e. real ales
Can I bring my own beer? Not really, that would be like taking coals to Newcastle!
How much is a pint? Most beers will be priced at two tokens for a third and three for a half. 2019 Tokens are 55p each so the majority of beers were the equivalent of £3.30 a pint.(This item to be updated for 2020)
Advance tickets & Pay on the day Advance tickets are on sale on-line, although it is possible to pay on the day. However, places are limited, particularly at peak times on Friday and Saturday and so it is always advisable to buy a ticket in advance whenever possible as this does guarantee entry. (This item to be updated for 2020)
Why do I have to pay to get in? The festival costs a massive amount to stage, with large costs for venue hire, security etc. not to mention the beer and entertainment provided.
Can I pay on the day? None of the sessions are 'ticket only' and there will be a number of 'pay on the day' admissions available daily. Pay on the Day tickets will have to be bought at the Arena Box Office and must be used to enter immediately. These are priced the same as tickets purchased in advance, so to save time and avoid possible box office queues buying in advance is a sensible option. (This item to be updated for 2020)
Will I have to queue to get in? We do all we can to keep queueing to a minimum, particularly for ticket holders.
What is Tutored Tasting? This was a new initiative (limited numbers) for 2019, visit our dedicated page for details. Please note this initiative proved very popular and if it is repeated you would be wise to book early! (This item to be updated for 2020)
Do I have to buy a glass? You can bring your own glass, as long as it carries a government stamp. If you wish to drink thirds or halves your glass must have the necessary lines. Glasses are included in ticket prices and are refundable for £2.50 each on exit if you wish. If you have your own glass we will give you four beer tokens in lieu of a glass. Check out the 2019 all-new stemmed design introduced for 2018 as an alternative option to the popular tankards and these will be available again in 2019! (This item to be updated for 2020)
Do you sell drinks in a third of a pint? Yes we do, our glasses are half pint tankards but also have a third line on them.
Are there Beer Tokens or is it a Cash Bar? It is strictly a token-only festival. A number of refundable tokens are included in admission prices.
Can I buy more beer tokens once inside the festival? Yes, there are token booths where you can purchase as many tokens as you need. They are refundable but only in small numbers, so don't buy too many at a time.
Can I use a Credit or Debit Card to buy extra tokens at the Festival. Yes, we accept Credit and Debit Card payments on site.
Can I get a pass-out and come back in? Unfortunately due to severe abuse of the system in previous years pass-outs are not available at any time during the festival. Once you have entered the festival, you will not be permitted to return once you have left the site. In the case of emergencies customers should contact the stewards at the exit points.
Do you offer discounts to CAMRA members? On top of the nine beer tokens included in the admission package, CAMRA members will be given a further six tokens (i.e. a free pint) on presentation of an up-to-date membership at the glass collection point.
Do you offer a Student discount? Card carrying members of the Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham Real Ale Societies were given additional beer tokens on entry, in line with those given to CAMRA members. No other discounts are available.
What if I have a disability? We aim to make the Festival accessible to anyone with long-term or permanent disabilities, mobility, sight and/or hearing impairments. Venue facilities information is available by following the link here
What is the policy about bringing dogs? Only assistance dogs will be permitted to enter the venue.
Do you provide Braille or Large-Print literature? Large-print or Braille versions of the programme can be made available if requested in advance – please contact festival organisers at least 3 weeks prior to the start of the event.
Is the 2019 Festival Artwork available to download? You will be able to download the A3 poster or if you prefer an A5 flyer here. 2020 designs will be made available in due course.
Will there be live entertainment? There will be a full programme of live entertainment at all times. For those who prefer their festival to be music-free there is no music in the main arena.(This item to be updated for 2020)
Do you still need bar staff? We rely on a large group of volunteers to staff the festival. (This item to be updated for 2020)
 How can I contact you?  See Contact page (by e-mail only at present).
Will there be a programme available? Yes programmes are available free of charge. Pick one up on your way in.
Are you on Twitter and Facebook? We have dedicated feeds/accounts on both Twitter and Facebook
Can I bring children? Under 18's are not allowed in the festival. We have to implement Challenge 21 as a licence requirement.
Will I be able to buy food at the Festival? There will numerous catering stalls offering a wide selection of world cuisine. However you may bring your own food, soft drinks and bottled water on site if you wish.
What if I have an allergy or food intolerance? We attempt to show all allergen information on our beer signs, but if in doubt please ask our bar staff.
Is there a designated smoking area? Smoking and vaping are permitted in designated outside areas.
Can you recommend accommodation? Nottingham has a very wide choice of hotels, varying in price from budget upwards. We would recommend using the established hotel search engines such as
What if I find conflicting information on this website or my query is not satisfactorily covered. If you have a genuine concern that information on this website is misleading or confusing, please email us.  If a page is not marked as information for 2019 then read through the checklists on this page and in the Q&A section to see if new information is likely to be forthcoming at a later date.
Are you GDPR Compliant? Yes - for more information please visit the National CAMRA website


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Updated : 12th March 2020