Swing along to Reading Real Ale & Jazz festivalBy Caroline Cook
July 12, 2012
Golden ales will be poured and glasses will be raised to toast 25 years of the Reading Real Ale and Jazz Festival (RAAJ) next weekend.
Swinging jazz notes will sail over the kegs as hundreds of people head to Christchurch Meadows to enjoy three days of festival fun.
This year there will be more celebrations than ever as the festival marks its quarter-century.
“We can’t believe that this year’s festival is such a milestone,” said Barry Jukes, from a volunteer group in charge of organising the events.
“We have only reached our 25th anniversary by receiving fantastic support from the local community and their enthusiasm for the event to goes from strength to strength. I am positive that 2012 will be the best one so far.”
The first RAAJ Festival took place in 1987 as a fundraiser for Reading Hockey Club to pay for an artificial turf pitch.
It was such a huge success the hockey club made it a permanent fixture and hundreds of gallons of ale have been gulped down over the last 25 years.
This year festival-goers will be in for a treat with music from a variety of swinging acts include Britain’s Got Talent finalists The Jive Aces, who will be headlining the first day of the festival on Thursday, July 19.
From Thursday to Saturday there will be live music and ales from more than 22 breweries around the country.
Bitter fans will be able to enjoy the likes of the Twyford Tipple from Ruscombe-based Binghams Brewery as well as sampling flavours from Loddon Brewery, Ascot Ales and the Windsor and Eton brewery.
Cider lovers will also be able to sip fruity drinks from producers based in Berkshire, Oxford and Surrey and there will be a wine bar for those who prefer the grapes.
There will be a hog roast from The Whole Hog food company and for the first time there will also be a chip shop stall and a Chinese food stall from Food Lovers’ Delight.
After enjoying a pint or two visitors will be able to get on their feet, grab a partner and dance to the smooth jazz sounds which will be filling the meadow well into the night.
The event will once again be raising money for Reading Hockey Club to help with maintaining their water-based pitch, creating two new pitches and supporting Olympians and Colts development programmes.
Aylesbury Brew House,
Ascot Ales, Ascot
Binghams Brewery, Ruscombe
Black Isle Brewery, Ross-shire
Green Jack, Suffolk
Hop Back, Wiltshire
Loddon Brewery, Reading
Loose Cannon Brewery,
Purity Brewing, Warwickshrie
The Old Cannon
Rebellion Beer, Marlow
Staustell Brewery, Suffolk
Surrey Hills, Surrey
Timothy Taylor, Keighley
Tring Brewery, Hertfordshire
Vale Brewery, Aylesbury
Windsor and Eton Brewery,
XT Brewing Company, Aylesbury
The Lambourn Valley Cider Company,
Salt Hill Cider, Slough
Upton Cider, Oxon
Thursday, July 19
7.15pm-9pm – Laura B and The Moonlighters
9.30pm-11.15pm. The Jive Aces
Friday, July 20
7.15pm-9pm – Swing Fever
9.30pm-11.15pm – The Red Stripe Band
Saturday, July 21
5.15pm-6.45pm – The Old Thumper Band
7.15pm-9pm – Ray Harris and The Fusion Experience
9.30pm-11.15pm – The Bob Kerr Whoope Band
Tickets to the RAAJ Festival are £8 in advance or £11 on the door for Thursday and Friday and £11 in advance or £16 on the door for Saturday. Advance prices available until Sunday.
To buy, visit www.raaj.info