FAQs | Festival Information | The Great British Beer Festival
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7th-11th August 2018

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What time does the festival open/close?

  • 7th August – 12 noon-5 pm (Trade Session)
  • 7th August – 5pm-10:30 pm (Public Session)
  • 8th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 9th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 10th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 11th August – 11am-7:00 pm

Last Admission: half an hour before close

How do I get to the festival?

You can reach Kensington Olympia via London Overground trains between Stratford & Clapham Junction and Southern Trains services between Milton Keynes Central & South Croydon. A District Line service runs from Earls Court to Kensington Olympia on Friday & Saturdays.

Other stations close by include:

  • Barons Court – 0.5 miles
  • West Kensington Station – 0.6 miles
  • Goldhawk Station – 0.7 miles
  • Shepherds Bush Station – 0.8 miles
  • Hammersmith Station – 0.8 miles
  • Earls Court Station – 0.9 miles
  • High Street Kensington Station – 0.9 miles

Please check the Transport for London or National Rail Enquiries websites before you travel.

Is there a cloakroom?

Olympia London does have cloakrooms available during GBBF that costs £1 per item, £2 for larger bags and suitcases and can be found in the main entrance to the Olympia Grand.

Will there be bag searches?

Yes, we will be conducting bag searches on the entrance to the festival to check and confiscate the below-listed items. Please note, we will also be conducting random body searches which will be conducted by same-sex staff.

Items not permitted to be brought in (not exhaustive):

  • Knives
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Portable furniture  (if bigger than a small fishing stool)
  • Power tools
  • Drugs
  • Fireworks
  • Sports equipment

Is there a smoking area?

Yes, there is a dedicated outdoor smoking area. You can normally swap your current glass/drink for a numbered token and leave it with one of our Stewards to keep it safe as you cannot take glasses outside.

Is there a Members Lounge?

This year we are bringing back the Members-only Lounge. Want access? Become a CAMRA member today.

Can I leave and come back in the same day?  

We do allow you to leave and come back on the same day but please make sure that you have spoken to a team member on the door before leaving to receive your pass out. Please also note that there is no re-admission after the last admission times.

When is the last entry time?

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.

How much are tickets?

All information on ticket prices can be found on our tickets page. There is a discount for advance tickets vs on the door tickets. If you are a CAMRA member there are additional discounts for both advance entrance, tutored tastings and on the door tickets. *Booking fee applies.

I’m a CAMRA member, how do I purchase discounted tickets?

If you are a CAMRA member and don’t have your discount code to input in the “promotional code” box, please contact us on events@camra.org.uk with your membership number.

What’s the ticket refund policy?

Unfortunately no refunds can be issued on advanced tickets. Call 01727 798459 for further information. 

I’ve ordered my ticket but haven’t received the email?  

Please check your spam folder, if nothing is there please email events@gbbf.org.uk with your details or call 01727 798459

I’ve lost my ticket, how do I get a replacement?

Please email events@gbbf.org.uk with your details or call 01727 798459

Is there a family area and can I bring my child?

The family area will be located upstairs in the Grand Hall. All those under 18 years old must remain in the Family Room at all times and must be accompanied by an adult. CAMRA does not offer a creche facility.

Can I bring beer up to the family room?

Yes. Children cannot go down onto the main floor but adults can take their drinks up to the family room.

Do children need a ticket?

People under 18 years of age receive free entry, but they must remain in the family room and be supervised by an adult at all times. We, unfortunately, cannot allow pushchairs or children held in parents arms on the festival floor.

Do you have to be over 18 to attend?

Under 18s are welcome to attend, however, they must be supervised by an adult and remain in the family room. Under 18s cannot drink alcohol at the festival, but do not need a ticket.

Disability access – is there allocated seating?

Unfortunately, we do not have any allocated seating, but there is plenty of seating available, please refer to the site plan for more information. Alternatively, our VIP package seating will be situated on the main festival floor.

Does Olympia London provide disabled access?

Yes, Olympia London offers full access for everyone to enjoy the festival. Find out more about Olympia London’s facilities here.

Can I get a ticket for my essential companion?

Any guest requiring an essential carer/companion in order to attend can get one free ticket, which is issued at the door. 

Can I bring my own chairs to sit on?

Yes. We do advise that these be small stools like might you use to go fishing. If you bring anything bigger, we do reserve the right remove these and to hold these in storage until you exit the festival.

What’s Ask for Angela?

Ask for Angela is an innovative campaign enabling those who feel vulnerable in pubs and clubs to discreetly approach a member of staff and request assistance will be available at this year’s Great British Beer Festival. The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing visitors to the festival with a non-descript phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff members in order to be separated from the company of someone with whom they feel unsafe due to that person’s actions, words or behaviour. For more information see here.

Can I keep my festival glass?

On arrival to the festival, you will need to purchase a festival glass for £3 (these can also be purchased in advance). These will be available in full pint, half-pint and third-pint measurements. At the end of the festival, you can exchange your glass for your money back or keep the glass as a souvenir. You can also exchange your glass for a different size or a clean one.

Are there soft drinks available at the festival?

Yes there will be various soft drinks available from the food stalls along with a dedicated coffee stall.

Will there be water at the bars to rinse my glass out?

There will be various water points throughout the festival. Simply ask at a bar and they will be able to do this for you.

Is it a cash bar at the festival, or am I required to purchase tokens?

All bars will be cash bars, no tokens are needed, however, if you wish to plan ahead you can purchase tokens in advance in £15 sheets.

Is there a cash machine available?

There are cash machines inside Olympia, however, these do charge a nominal fee for cash withdrawals.

Where can I get allergen information on the beers?

All of our bar staff will be able to provide allergen information on the beers they are serving. Where possible we will make information available in advance with our online beer lists, but we strongly advise that you ask on site at the bar

Is the festival open to the public on Tuesday 7th August?

The festival’s Trade Session takes place between 12 noon-5pm on Tuesday and is for members of the trade only. The festival is open to members of the public from 5pm-10:30 pm. Season ticket holders will gain entry to the trade session.

Will a programme be available?

Souvenir festival guides will be available from the festival at a cost of £2 (£1 to CAMRA members). You can also purchase your guide in advance* with your ticket. *Booking fee applies. Please bring your purchase confirmation copy to claim your guide on entrance to the venue.

What food will be available at the festival?

Food will be available from a variety of stalls at the festival – take a look HERE for more details.

What’s happening at the CAMRA shop?

At the CAMRA shop you can browse and buy a huge range of books on beer, pubs and brewing at special festival prices and meet the authors to get your books signed.  The shop also sells official festival tops, other CAMRA clothing and CAMRA merchandise such as pens and pin badges.

When does the famous “Hat Day” take place?

Hat Day will take place on Thursday 9th August, and Hat Day judges will be roaming the festival in the afternoon.

Where can I find out what entertainment is taking place?

Visit the entertainment page to see this year’s lineup.

How can I find out more about the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)?

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-led consumer organisation. We champion the right of the consumer to enjoy British real ale and well-run community pubs.

Find out more at camra.org.uk

Volunteering at the Great British Beer Festival

The online web form is not ready for willing volunteers to sign up yet, this is expected in April. Please check back then to apply.
If you have any problems or questions about volunteering, then email gbbfvolunteerstaffing@camra.org.uk where Paula, Laura or Liz will answer your query.


The VIP Package

This year we are offering visitors the chance to make their visit to Great British Beer Festival even better with the new & improved VIP Bundle. On arrival VIP visitors will be able to skip the queue with a fast-track entry, you’ll then receive all of the things you need to kick off your visit (glass, beer tokens and a copy souvenir guide and beer list). This year a VIP guest will also be able to make use of the exclusive VIP Lounge where you can relax and soak up the festival atmosphere from the Olympia National Hall main floor. You’ll also have the chance to take part in a series of Meet the Brewer sessions that will be held in the lounge during the day, where you will get a chance to sample some of the real ale on the festival floor and find out the artistry that goes in to brewing.

For only £39 the VIP Package Includes:

  • Entry to a single session
  • Fast-track entry to one festival session
  • £15 of real ale tokens for use during your visit
  • Access to the new & exclusive VIP Lounge
  • Opportunity to participate in free Meet the Brewer sessions
  • Souvenir guide featuring full beer list
  • Festival glass

Limited availability of only 250 per day!

Perfect for a special day out.

Trade Session FAQs

When is the Trade Session?

The Trade Session takes place on Tuesday 7th August between 12noon – 5pm. The trade are welcome to stay on after 5pm for the evening session


Do I need a trade ticket to attend the Trade Session?  

Yes, tickets are required in advance and can be applied for online here. Tickets are free to the trade but are subject to approval.


How can I apply for a ticket?  

You can apply online here.  We will need your name, job title, company and email address, plus a reason to support your application if possible.


I’ve applied for my ticket, what happens now? 

Once you have applied for a ticket, you will receive an email to confirm we have received your application. Your application will then be put forward for approval. Applications will be approved by the end of June 2018 onwards.  Once your application is approved, you will receive your e-ticket via email within 7-10 working days. We are changing our process for trade day this year but still keeping the focus on networking. This year you will receive an email with your ticket included. This email will also direct you to a template for you to generate your own name badges for all attendees.   Your name badge will not grant you entry to the event so do remember to bring your ticket along.  Your name badge is designed to fold into a name badge for insert into a plastic wallet – provided to you at the entrance to the trade session.


Who can apply for Trade Session tickets?

The trade session is intended for anyone working in or involved with the beer and pub industry. This includes brewers, pub owners, industry bodies, media representatives and other trade professionals.


How many Trade Session tickets can I apply for? 

Each trade person is entitled to apply for tickets online. Each pub is entitled to 2 Trade Session tickets, breweries are entitled to 6 tickets.


Can I apply for multiple tickets?  

Yes. All email correspondence regarding that application will be sent to the email address submitted, including the e-ticket.


The online form won’t accept my application? 

Each trade person is entitled to 2 Trade Session tickets, but if more than one person has applied for these tickets from the same establishment, then the 2nd request will be rejected.

How long will it take for my application to be approved?

Applications will be approved from the end of June 2018. Once you have been approved successful applications will receive their e-ticket from our ticketing partner Eventbrite within 7-10 working days.


How will I receive my ticket?  

Once you have been approved, successful applicants will receive their e-ticket from our ticketing partner Eventbrite within 7-10 working days. Your e-ticket is designed to fold into a name badge for insertion into a badge holder – provided to you on entrance to the Trade Session.


I haven’t received my ticket?

Please check that you received a confirmation email after you made your application. If you have received a confirmation email, your application will be put forward for approval from the end of June 2018 onwards.


If your application is approved, please allow 7-10 working days for receipt of your e-ticket. Please do keep an eye out for our emails and make sure to check your spam folder.


When does the Trade Session application close? 

Application closes online 27th July 2018.


Why has my ticket not been approved? 


We do try to include as many people from the industry as possible for the Trade Session. However, like any event we need to control numbers and ensure that attendees are from within the industry.
Each pub is entitled to 2 trade day tickets and breweries are entitled to 6 tickets, but someone may have already applied for your allocation.


I’ve applied for 1 ticket but I need another? 

You can apply for an additional ticket as required. Simply complete the form again.


I have my e-ticket, where do I pick up my badge holder? 

Your e-ticket is also your name badge so you just need to print your ticket out and fold it as directed. When you arrive onsite you can pick up a badge holder from the glasses stand.


I’m a member of the press can I apply for tickets?

The press can apply for a press pass here


I need further help with my Trade Session application

If you can’t find the answer to your question above, please contact events@camra.org.uk


Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Great British Beer Festival that are not answered here please contact us using one of the options below: For all general enquiries about the festival, you can email CAMRA by clicking here or call on 01727 867201. For enquiries regarding purchased tickets please contact our team on 01727 798459

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