Beer Bop A Lula – Saturday Sounds
The organizers of Beer Bop a Lula, are hoping that this celebration of music and beer becomes an annual Reigate event. Judging by the enthusiastic ‘festival’ goers of Saturday, their dream could well come true.
A large family-friendly crowd was already in situ as I arrived just after 2 pm. The friendly and efficient security staff ushered the queue and almost before I could say Beer Bop a Lula, the wrist band was on and it was time to collect the free beer glass and LULA’s (festival currency) before heading’ proper’ into the festival.
There was plenty of choice for an alcoholic beverage with 90 craft beers to choose from and if that wasn’t enough there was cider, lager, a fabulous gin bar, VIP champagne bar, and cocktails. Kids ran and danced past bedecked in the inevitable face paint or glitter, in fact, the glitter wasn’t just confined to kids – plenty of parents were sporting ‘glitter cheeks’ all adding to the mini Glastonbury feel…
The event organisers recognised that if the kids are happy then parents are happy. The family entertainment stage with a dazzling and dizzy array of kid-friendly stuff meant adults could get on with listening and dancing to the music with their drink of choice in hand.
The first musical act of the day for me: The Voodoo Tweed Cult of your Mum, on the ‘Introducing Stage’ There were plenty who were shaking their tweed to their eclectic mix of punk covers and original material – “Another Brick in the Wall” was a personal highlight.
The Reservoir Mods took centre stage @ 4 pm. A tribute band covering tracks from the Small Faces, The Jam, The Who and others. They transported some of the crowd right back to their youth. They were joined by future fans of the Mod Scene. Plenty of teenagers were listening and having a bit of shoulder shake. Great music truly never dies and reaches down the generations.
The Hofmeister Main Stage buzzed with eager anticipation for the 5 pm performance by OHASIS. How on earth can you match the inimitable Liam Gallagher? Touted as the best Oasis tribute band, OHasis use the exact same equipment used by Oasis in their live shows. They rattled through all the crowd-pleasers, Wonderwall. Don’t Look Back in Anger, Rock n Roll Star. If you closed your eyes it could just about be Liam singing. It didn’t seem to matter to the packed beer tent who sang along from the beginning to the end of the set.
And onto something completely and bonkerly different. The Mariachis followed at 7 pm. What can I say.? Everyone in the tent was jumping along and the pure joy in the tent was incredible. For those who are not familiar think of The Human League’ “Don’t you Want Me Baby being sung with accordions galore and maracas. Everyone was dancing and then kids, grandparents, Reigate yummy mummies and hipster kids united in a mass sing-a-long to a cover of the Queen classic I want to Break Free.
As the sunset, the families packed up and disappeared home. The hipster crowd took over and enjoyed the DJ sounds in the cocktail tent and the Silent Disco.
This very first festival for Reigate aimed to unite beer and music. It went further: a festival for families, youngsters, hipsters, and rockers, with a sprinkling of beer heads, is hard to pull off. On balance, Beer bop a Lula managed to cater for tots to teens to Twilighters with aplomb. Some of the crowd I spoke to had 3-day tickets and were raving about Scouting for Girls (who had played Friday). I am sorry to miss on Sunday. Here’s to next year.