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Workers Beer Company apologises after complaints over queues at Festival Republic shows in Finsbury Park

By | Published on Monday 2 July 2018

The Workers Beer Company has carried the can – a beer can, presumably – after a flood of complaints filled the social networks this weekend about bar queues at two music events promoted by Festival Republic in London’s Finsbury Park.

The Live Nation company was promoting two days of music on the North London site, one headlined by Liam Gallagher and the other by Queens Of The Stone Age. Ticket buyers galore complained about the bar queues – all the worse given the high temperatures on the day – with some saying they missed sets while queuing for drinks.

The bars were run by the Workers Beer Company, an organisation that raises money for charities and the trade union movement by providing bars for festivals and other major events. The people working at the bars donate their wages to a charitable or union organisation of their choice.

In a statement posted to the Festival Republic website, the bars firm stated that: “Since 1986, Workers Beer Company have been at the heart of huge festivals serving millions. We have successfully sold millions of drinks to millions of people over those 33 years. Our serving staff are drawn from local grassroots organisations raising funds for their local campaigns and projects”.

It went on: “Here in Finsbury Park on Friday and Saturday there was unprecedented failure of up to 40% of our staff to turn up. As a consequence people had to wait an unnecessarily long time to be served. For this we unreservedly apologise to the audience”.

Keen to ensure no blame was apportioned to the headline acts or their promoter, the Beer Company added: “So that it’s clear, neither Liam Gallagher nor Queens Of The Stone Age should bear responsibility. They both delivered awesome gigs to awesome fans, that deserved better service from our bar operation. This is also the case for Festival Republic who have no responsibility for us letting down the audience and we have already apologised to them”.

That said, while few were blaming the acts, not everyone on the social networks was entirely placated by the Workers Beer Company statement. Some angry ticket buyers claimed that beer queues weren’t the only logistical issues on the day, and that they felt it was unfair of Festival Republic to make its bar supplier apologise on its behalf.