Barrow Hill Roundhouse's popular Rail Ale festival is 'back in business'

“We’re back in business” is the message from organisers of Barrow Hill’s popular Rail Ale festival.

By Jon Ball
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:48 am

After last year’s had to be axed due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event has been scheduled for September, Covid-permitting.

A festival spokesman said: “Calling all fans of the best beer and music festival in the country – we’re back in business.

“Obviously we’ve got all our fingers and toes crossed this pesky Covid goes away and lets us party the day and night away."

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Rail Ale 2021 will take place in the historic setting of Barrow Hill Roundhouse on September 9, 10 and 11.

The spokesman said: “There will be a huge selection of real ales from around the country, including many brewed close to this corner of Derbyshire, a great range of ciders and craft beers and the return of the popular Prosecco Bar and Gin Palace.

“For music lovers, there will be fantastic live music in the marquee and on the main stage from jazz and brass through acoustic, funk and soul to rock ’n’ roll.”

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Bigger and better

Announcing the cancellation of last year’s 20th anniversary event – after it was originally rescheduled from May to August – organisers said: “We can promise you Rail Ale 2021 will be as big as – and hopefully even better than – Rail Ale 2020 was going to be.”

Actor and DJ Craig Charles has been confirmed as performing at the 2021 festival.

The BBC Radio 2 presenter and former Coronation Street and Red Dwarf star will be bringing his funk and soul club to the venue on the Thursday evening – with tickets priced £18 now on sale from

After being cancelled in 2020, Rail Ale, Barrow Hill Roundhouse's very own real ale festival, returns for 2021, from September 9-11. See

The festival will be open on the Thursday, noon-5pm, with tickets priced £6 in advance, or £8 on the door, and noon-11pm on the Friday and Saturday, with tickets priced £9 in advance or £12 on the door.

Tickets, available from, include entry, a commemorative glass, programme and rides on the Rail Ale train, which will be running on the Friday and Saturday, from noon-5pm.

A free bus service will be running from Chesterfield railway station to the festival each day.

Actor and DJ Craig Charles will be bringing his funk and soul club to Barrow Hill Roundhouse for the Rail Ale Party Night on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

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Crowds at a previous Rail Ale festival at Barrow Hill Roundhouse.