“Just what is it that you want to do?
We wanna get loaded and have a good time
We wanna have a party, yeah!
That’s what we wanna do”.
– Primal Scream “Loaded” as written by Andrew Innes, Bobby Gillespie and Robert Young.
There has been some Twitter and blogging debate in the build up to the European Beer Bloggers Conference taking place in Leeds this weekend. I’m not going to link any blog posts, paste screen shots of tweets or name drop, but everyone has their own opinion on the event. Paraphrasing some of these opinions can summarise two main positions: 1). It’s just a glorified piss up and 2). each attendees personal motivation for getting involved.
I hadn’t given my participation and my free ticket-to-ride much thought, but with high calibre points-of-view whizzing past my nose and threatening to spoil my fun, I just wanted to get it down on paper (no not actual paper). There is most definately a war-of-words rumbling on over the ethical aspects of beer blogging, and I shouldn’t have to / don’t need to respond, but for someone like me who tends to over think things, then I prefer to say something rather than keep it in my head. It’s cathartic.
I paid £100 up front as a “civilian blogger”, fully refundable buy Molson Coors should I write and publish a blog post on EBBC12 and turn up to register. As this is my first bloggers conference, I’m not sure how this is going to play out, but from the looks of the agenda there is fair indication that at the very least it will be a lot of fun, not everyone’s idea of fun, but I’m assuming those people will stay far away from the revelry.
Free beer is another hot topic of discussion at the moment, not just in the confines of EBBC12, but free beer and beer blogging in general. The majority of the beer I will consume this weekend will be included in the cost, the cost I explained above, so it’s technically free. There will also be “industry bloggers” and other attendees who will have paid a premium to be there. The only way I can make sense of my ‘pass’ is thinking of it in terms of the conferences I have attended through my employment, and without exception those conferences were sponsored. They are rarely sponsored by charities, but more commonly by profit making companies who are involved because it makes commercial sense. It’s a concept that some people are comfortable with and one that others turn their back on.
I will of course sample the free beer over the next 3 days, and most likely come away with branded merchandise, but I would like to think that my motivation for attending is primarily to meet some people that I have chatted to on Twitter for the last year, learn something new or help me reflect on my writing and after that it is unapologetically about the beer, be it good or bad in my humble opinion.