Harrogate's Women On Tap beer festival becomes a hybrid festival for its fifth year

Independent beer and arts equality festival, Women On Tap, is gearing up for year five. Even last year’s lockdown couldn’t stop play for this event, which spotlights the work of brilliant women in otherwise male dominated industries.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:20 pm
Rooted in Harrogate, Women on Tap festival began as a town centre initiative fiove years ago, delivering pop-up events in bars.

Rooted in Harrogate, the festival began as a town centre initiative, delivering pop up events in bars.

Last year, rather than pull the plug, the team rethought and reworked the festival, putting together an online programme of talks, tastings, virtual gigs, yoga, and panel discussions at a time when most things were cancelled and many people became isolated.

Continuing to work within a fast-changing situation and wanting to keep the new further afield audience engaged (the 2020 festival saw participants from as far as the US, Australia, and Italy), the 2021 festival will be a blend of virtual, digital, and live events.

The virtual experiences strand includes:

A Back of a Beermat Writing Workshop

A talk & discussion on harassment in collaboration with international youth-led chalk art movement, Chalk Back

A life drawing class with beer

A tasting of Harrogate beer with Beer Sommelier Annabel Smith

A showcase of women in music, and a yoga class.

Live events include:

Live music from The Paper Waits at Roosters Taproom.

Pop up poetry at Starling and The Disappearing Chin.

A takeover and closing party at Harrogate Brewing Co. Taproom.

All of the above will be delivered within the Government restrictions that are set to apply at the time of the events.

A festival beer will also be brewed in collaboration with Leeds-based Nomadic Beers, and a Harrogate Beer Pack will be available to order with national distribution featuring six selected beers from some Harrogate breweries.

The third festival strand and a new addition to the programme is a series of selected creative commissions.

A callout was made for proposals in response to one of four themes relating to beer, pubs and equality.

Six varied commissions have been selected and will be released across the festival, with wide ranging content including a podcast, embroidery, a short film, and digital drawings.

All selected creators will be paid a fee of £300 from Women On Tap CIC.

Founder Rachel Auty said she was looking forward to the fifth festival and was grateful for receiving such "wonderful" support.

She said: “We came into 2021 with a vision for the fifth festival but so much uncertainty, like so many others.

"We are completely independently funded and we didn’t know if we’d be able to pull together a budget at all for this year.

"We’ve had incredible support for some wonderful sponsors which has enabled us to not only put together a programme of brilliant people we can pay, we have extended this to pay a fee for others to create something they love especially for the festival.

"For the first time we have also recruited two freelancers to help with delivery.

"We pushed the festival back by a month this year, as we desperately wanted some live events and to support some of our local pubs.

"We can’t wait to put the spotlight on incredible women, excellent beer, and Harrogate again and hopefully we’ll get to see lots of familiar faces.”

Women On Tap Festival runs from 9 - 13 June 2021.

For the full festival programme and booking information go to www.womenontap.co.uk/festival2021

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