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Poor Ticket Sales Cancel Manayunk Summer Classic

Inaugural Philly Beer Week event failed to get enough advances sales.

Organizers cancelled the Tuesday, citing insufficient advanced ticket sales for the June 9 craft beer festival on Main Street.

Rob Nydick, from the Belvedere Restaurant Group, said the inaugural anchor event for Philly Beer Week in Manayunk never generated significant advanced ticketing.

"We weren't able to get enough people to commit to buying tickets," he said.

"We felt we had an overall positive response to the event, but in the end there weren’t enough people committed to purchasing tickets in advance to make the event economically and logistically feasible."

The 100 or so people who did buy tickets will be given a full refund. Information will be posted on the event's website.

The event was billed as a three-hour, exotic craft beer festival paired with food from Manayunk restaurants. There were two sessions scheduled Saturday. Organizers set a $50 price tag to emphasize that Main Street could host an alcoholic event for adults.

With that, only advanced tickets were available—no one, outside of designated drivers, could get access at the door.

"We had to do that as an agreement with the neighborhood to promote a controlled atmosphere. We weren't in a position to sell walk-up tickets," he said, adding restaurants also needed a head count in order to adequately prepare sufficient food.

Both the and Philly Beer Week expressed disappointed Tuesday that the event wouldn't occur.

"A shame—I was really looking forward to the event," Philly Beer Week Executive Director Don Russell said in an email.

Jane Lipton and the MDC offered the C Lot for the Manayunk Summer Classic. She said she took her hat off to organizers.

"It's hard to start an event like this in the world today. The guys at BRG worked really hard, and we thought that partnering with an event like Philly Beer Week would give them a fighting chance," Lipton said. "

Nydick thanked the participating restaurants and beer week staff for their help.

"I thought Philly Beer Week was great. Restaurants stepped it up, but it came down to the people," he said.

For Manayunk events, like 's Riverpalooza or 's Brew Fest, people can just walk in the door, Nydick said. That really was the difference.

"I was getting phone calls from restaurant owners with people saying they're coming up. People in Manayunk were looking for that. They're used to festivals that operate like that. It's kind of tough to change it," he said.

Lipton said the event could become part of new food event the development corporation may run in the fall, but in a scaled back way.

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