Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW) is asking last year’s attendees to forgive, even though they might not forget.
The 2022 iteration of the event was infamous for long lines, faulty tech, short staffing, and, most uproariously, a lack of access to free drinking water, as attendees weren’t allowed to bring in refillable water bottles.
A recent email from VCBW to 2022 ticket holders starts off with an apology.
“It is obvious that for many, last year’s Saturday VCBW experience missed the mark and again, we apologize to you for that. By the Sunday tasting, all of the issues were resolved and the event went off without a hitch but, we understand that offers no solace to those who attended on the Saturday,” it reads.
“We understand and respect that you may not want to give us a second chance. If that is the case, please feel free to unsubscribe and you won’t hear from us again.”
As part of their penance, VCBW is offering those 2022 Saturday ticket holders first dibs on the 2023 event, noting that they’re putting some hard-earned knowledge into practice to avoid last year’s pitfalls.
Instead of the hassle of using pre-purchased tokens or uploading funds to wristbands, the cost of beer will be built into the ticket price—meaning that once you’re inside the grounds, you’ll be able to grab a beer sample at any booth simply by walking up to it.
Refillable water bottles will be allowed at the 2023 event, and water stations will be placed throughout the expanded grounds. The event also plans to have pre-entry processing, so that those showing up in the hour before gates open will be able to have their tickets scanned ahead of time to allow the initial 3pm entry crowd into the festival faster.
The 2023 event will also be a single-day affair, so that “all the focus will be on making sure the one and only tasting is epic.”
VCBW is offering a pre-pre-sale on March 28 for those who had those fateful Saturday tickets in 2022. Tickets to the general public will become available in a presale on April 11 that can be accessed through their website.
“Since July 9, 2022, we the team behind VCBW have challenged and focussed ourselves to make sure none of the mistakes that took place on that day could ever happen again,” reads a letter from producers on the VCBW website.
“We choose to respond to this unfortunate day by making sure no issues that took place in 2022 could ever happen again, working our way to creating the best beer festival that has ever taken place in the Pacific Northwest.”
The 2023 event expects to see over 80 participating breweries including Patina, House of Funk, Tofino, Wards Cider, Electric Bicycle, Mountainview, Cabin, Studio, Fernie, Faculty, Persephone, Deep Cove, 33 Acres, Field House, and Shaketown to name just a few, and will have dual headliners performing on the Stanley Park Stage as well as an opening act and a DJ.
Vancouver Craft Beer Week takes place on July 8 at the PNE. Tickets prices are to be announced, with a pre-pre-sale happening on March 28 for Saturday 2022 ticket holders, and a presale on April 11 available to the general public.