One of Philly Beer Week’s newest events, the Manayunk Summer Classic, has been canceled due to a lack of pre-event ticket sales.
The festival was set for Saturday along the intersection of Levering and Main streets. Multiple breweries were set to participate in the event, including companies from Japan, England, Belgium and all throughout the U.S. Food participants included an array of local bars and restaurants like the Couch Tomato Cafe and Bistro, Bourbon Blue, Cervisia, Han Dynasty and Kildare’s.
The $50 ticket price was meant to encourage a professional crowd for a beer-centered event. Because no tickets would be available on Saturday, pre-sales were essential to get the ‘Classic’ off the ground.
The event was planned by the Belvedere Restaurant Group which operates Tapestry, Agiato and Main Street Market.
Rob Nydick, co-owner of Belvedere Restaurant Group, helped to create the event from the get-go. He says he is disappointed at low ticket sales, but it was a part of an agreement with the Manayunk Development Corporation that no tickets would be available on the day of the event.
“When we planned the event we came to an agreement with the neighborhood that there would be no sales at the door and we wanted to honor that,” said Nydick. “We wanted to be fair to the neighborhood – they didn’t want masses of people showing up at overcapacity for the event.”
He says the event was expected to attract a crowd of young professionals.
“We’re not driving to replicate RiverPalooza,” said Nydick. “We didn’t want any kind of negative connotation and with that came purchasing tickets in advance. We wanted a controlled atmosphere that wouldn’t get out of hand.”
He says another aspect of pre-sale tickets was to help the restaurants determine how much food to prepare.
“The feedback we received from most of the restaurants was that we were selling tickets,” said Nydick, “so I think we would have gotten a good turnout. We had hoped people would commit earlier. We hoped it was the first of many.”
He says he was happy with the marketing efforts for the event with support from many restaurants and bars in Manayunk and from Philly Beer Week promotions.
One sponsor of the event, Philadelphia Distilling, was set to host a table for sampling of their products including Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Penn 1681 Vodka and XXX Shine Whiskey.
“They wanted a certain amount of tickets sold,” said Andrew Auwerda, president of Philadelphia Distilling, “and they didn’t reach that goal. It happens.”
He says that if another event is planned in the future he would be on-board to participate.
All purchased tickets will receive a full refund whether purchased online, at the Manayunk Development Corporation or at participating restaurants and bars.
Editor’s note: The co-owner of Belvedere Restaurant Group, Rob Nydick, was given the wrong last name in an earlier version of this article. The copy has been corrected.