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  • By Cory Crossman



We’re back with another glimpse into the diverse collection of festivals London has to offer! This weekend’s festival, Forest City Beer Fest, is sure to quench the thirst of Londoners with a vast offering of craft beer from vendors across the province.

Along with refreshing and delicious beer, music and an exciting downtown vibe play a critical role to the success of festivals such as this.

London Music Office connected with Aaron Brown, Forest City Beer Fest Event Director, over the phone on a busy and chaotic day, the eve of his festival. The first thing you need to know about Aaron is he’s a true DIY dude and pulls together one heck of an event. 

Forest City Beer Fest is a celebration of indie craft beer in downtown London. The festival is expanding in its 6th year with programming beginning on Friday, August 11, and continuing into the wee hours of Saturday, August 12. The event motto is to elevate craft beer. Aaron focuses on a core goal, Discover & celebrate beer by raising up the industry & businesses while raising up our glasses. He looks to bring awareness to the multitude of flavours and trends within the growing brewing industry.

We did a short interview with Aaron to get a taste of things to come over the weekend.  

LMO: What differentiates Forest City Beer Fest from other food festivals in London? 

AB: The depth of the selection! Each brewery is hand selected and are leaders in the industry. We look for companies that are exciting and doing invocative things.

LMO: For those who have never been, what can they expect from FCBF?

AB: A good time in a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll see a new side of the market. A licensed patio space for friends and family transforms into a unique environment. Live music, food trucks, DJ’s and lots to take in.

LMO: How do you see FCBF evolving in the coming years?

AB: The festival is being marked in peoples’ calendars. People are now looking forward to the event each year. Folks are excepting it and that has allowed us to raise the bar. The future of the event is certainly within downtown London with music playing a major role as it begins to encompass more of downtown. A crowd of this size needs the entertainment to draw them in. We aim to support music more. It’s not the centre of the event but it needs to have a bigger role. More music at this event is a focus moving forward. 

LMO: Festivals are a great way to expose new and emerging local talent. What can more festivals do to help expose local musicians and develop local music scenes?

AB: Keeping your ear to the ground is important! Going beyond your buddies and looking around for great local and regional bands. Talent booking is a big job. It’s a job in itself! It needs to be a balanced lineup that makes sense. It’s not hard to support local acts. Give them a shot. There’s great vibes from all these bands.

LMO - I was very pleased to learn that FCBF worked alongside Mercedes Caxaj (SunFest) to select artists.

AB - Mercedes and I have known each other since Kindergarten. She’s helped out for a number of years and has and incredible understanding of events. She’s been a big assistance in the growth of the program.

LMO - How important is live music to you and how has it played a role in your life?

AB - It’s been such an important part of growing up. So many incredible memories are built around live music and going to sweaty shows at the embassy. I always like to get some good hip hop involved. I like to squeeze those elements into our promo videos. It’s cool to put you stamp on things by showing interesting music you like. 

All Ages?:                  Yes

Licensed Event?:      Yes

Local Acts:                  5

Total Acts:                   6

Volunteers:                20

Staff:                            1 full time, 9 contract 

Cause:                         Supports Growing Chefs 




Facebook:                   @ForestCityBeer

Twitter:                        @ForestCityBeer

Downtown London Presents: Forest City Beer Fest 2017 Launch Party
Friday, August 11th
4:00 - 11:00 pm
Fanshawe College Centre for Digital and Performance Arts + Market Lane
A free, all-ages event.  19+ ID required for alcoholic beverages

Forest City Beer Fest 2017
Saturday, August 12th
3:00 - 11:00 pm
Covent Garden Market, 130 King St
A free, all-ages event with VIP tickets available.
19+ ID required for alcoholic beverages



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