Beervana is getting a make-over for its 21st birthday.

The Wellington festival has dyed its hair blue and grabbed a new wardrobe, a change festival director Ryan McArthur said was “long overdue”.

“The old branding didn’t represent the festival as it is now. This brings it up to date and makes it look unlike any other beer festival on the calendar,” McArthur told Pursuit of Hoppiness.

“It’s bright, it’s weird, it’s fun and inventive, just like the brewing industry it showcases. It was important to us that the branding moves away from the usual cliched beer festival motifs and gendered imagery.

“Beervana is the ultimate celebration of New Zealand’s brewing industry, it’s where we can indulge in the curious, and inspire the innovators in a fantastic setting that welcomes all.

McArthur said the change in branding is designed to bring in a more diverse audience and it’s a pro-active attempt to move the festival away from a craft beer trip for blokes and to attract the “beer-curious”.

Tickets for the festival, at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on August 19-20, go on sale on June 20.

It will be the festival’s 21st year, although as McArthur pointed out it, that while a festival in Wellington has been going since 2001, it’s only been called Beervana since 2008 and moved to the Cake Tin stadium in 2011.

McArthur said the festival learned a lot from the 2020 edition, which was shifted to November because of the Covid lockdowns that year. The warmer weather, the proximity to Christmas and the general party vibe didn’t make for a pleasant event.

“In 2020 coming out of lockdown we pushed the party aspect; there were Christmas parties and people wanted to blow off steam, and in terms of behaviour and the number of people who had be removed it was the worst we’d had.

“The last thing I want is anyone coming to the festival and being hurt, or not coming because of something that has happened to them previously.

“So last year we knew we had to double down on our behavioural messaging and 2021 was a complete 180, it was the best festival we’d ever had, and the stadium staff couldn’t believe how good it was.”

In other festival news, Emerson’s will take over the prime No 1 stand as they celebrate their 30th birthday. “At last year’s West Coast IPA Challenge, Richard Emerson grabbed me from behind and said ‘That stall is ours!’ — I couldn’t argue with that.”

The festival is also an integral part of the month-long Wellington On A Plate festival which features a number of beer-centric events, including the Garage Project-sponsored Burger Wellington from August 12-31.

www.wellingtononaplate.com