16 May 2024

by Hannah Wilcox

As this weekend’s Beer, Footy and Food festival rapidly approaches, the North Sydney Sun reached out to Bears CEO Gareth Holmes to hear a little more about what to expect.

The festival has proven to be a major success at its homeground of Henson Park, home of the Newtown Jets, over the last six years.

“It’s something that we’ve tried to do for a number of years now, and we’ve just had a few little roadblocks that we’ve slowly been able to work through with the support of the Council – we’ve finally been able to deliver it this year,” Holmes said on Thursday.

He added: “New South Wales rugby league have been really helpful in working with us and the draw to give us the whole weekend of footy, and that’ll obviously add to the whole component of the beer, food and footy festival as well.”

“It’s been in the pipeline for a couple of years, but glad that we finally got it finally here.”

The CEO said the festival is set to bring in big crowds to the North Sydney Oval and surrounds. 

“We’ll engage with a lot of people that want to come and spend an afternoon or a day enjoying what the oval offers – which is a great iconic venue – but also it offers three games of football each day, your brewers, your food and activities for the kids,” Holmes continued.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to showcase how good North Sydney Oval is.”

“The Bears have been here since 1910 and it’s our home. It’s a great venue, an iconic venue,” he said.

“We’ll be able to increase the profile of what is already a really strong brand, but also then engage all the other New South Wales and NRL clubs to be part of what’s going to be a great weekend.”

Holmes is eager to make the BFFF an annual event for the NRL Magic Round.

“There’d be nothing better to have a New South Wales Rugby League Magic Round here every year and it’s something that we would love to be able to do moving forward,” he added.

Bears Legend Greg Florimo told the Sun he’s looking forward to entertaining rugby league this weekend.

“Most of all, I’d like to see six good games that are close and high quality – I’d like to see North Sydney beat South Sydney on Saturday afternoon,” he joked.

“But I’d like to see Sydney get a taste of what North Sydney Oval can bring to the community, not just through the footy, but through the beer and the food as well.”

Florimo added: “So if we can get thousands and thousands of people here over the two days and everyone has a great time, I think that’s a good result.”

Footy fans are urged to get in early and pre purchase their tickets as the Oval is limited by capacity. 

“It’s advisable for people to pre purchase their tickets so we can get as many people in and showcase what’s going to be a great weekend,” Holmes said.

“Let’s make this weekend a big success!”

Tickets for the Beer Footy Food Festival at North Sydney Oval on May 18 & 19 are available at The Beer Footy & Food Festival (beerfootyfood.com)