We all hoped that our post-COVID world would look very familiar. We hoped temporary postponements would not become permanent cancellations. We hoped to say a lot of “following a two-year hiatus…” It’s becoming clear that in some cases, the hiatus proved fatal. Today’s news is an example.
In case you are unaware, event organizers these days are having a difficult time attracting audiences to beer festivals. We could yammer on and on about why beer fests are having trouble selling tickets these days, and all the other challenges such events face these days, but it’s a reality: even the best beer festivals are struggling. Right now, the future is uncertain for some of your favorite beer festivals.
Here is some really discouraging news from Oregon. The annual Oregon Brewers Festival, long considered one of the nation’s premier beer events of the year, has been canceled.
Below, I share the announcement.
Dear Friends of the Oregon Brewers Festival,
After thoughtful and thorough consideration, the Oregon Brewers Festival team has decided to cancel the July 2023 event.
We’re disappointed to share this news, but we know that it’s the right thing to do. After three decades of producing OBF, we’ve developed a solid understanding of what it takes to give our attendees a great festival. And it’s clear when those factors aren’t coming together for a successful event. Higher costs, lower attendance, and extreme weather are just a few of the challenges that we’ve been discussing—but that’s far from an exhaustive list.
Great beer, however, has never been an issue. We couldn’t be prouder or more appreciative of the brewers who have come together in support of the festival year after year, and there have been some truly fantastic brews that have made their debut at OBF over the past 33 years.
We’ve enjoyed some incredible high points, meeting travelers from all over the world, welcoming 80,000 attendees one summer, and being named one of the world’s top 10 beer festivals, right alongside the Munich Oktoberfest. So now we’re hitting pause and figuring out how and when we’ll come back to offer the world-class beer festival experience that our attendees and brewers deserve.
We also recognize that the hospitality industry, which is at the core of our festival, is still working to recover from the effects of the pandemic. From local breweries to the suppliers of our festival infrastructure, many folks are just working to keep their doors open and their employees paid.
OBF will return when the time is right. As we go forward, we’ll be considering creative ways to support our local breweries and cideries through smaller festivals and partnerships. And we encourage you to do the same, by visiting your favorite watering hole, ordering takeout or delivery, leaving reviews for your favorites, buying gift cards, and following them on social media for the latest news on how to help. Let’s make sure there are plenty of thriving breweries ready to join us at OBF when we return.
1 thought on “A 33-year run comes to an end. Oregon Brewers Festival canceled”
Seems like a lot of beer festivals are going to be coming to an end.
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