Robert Lindsay, organiser of the Happening, said: “We are truly staggered by the way our festival-goers have risen to the occasion and raised this fantastic amount for such a good cause in these challenging times.
“We asked folk to consider sacrificing a portion or all of the price of the tickets they had bought for this year to help our chosen charity. We knew they would be as generous as possible. Just how giving they have been is humbling.”
Robert said the Happening, a three-day festival of the best beer, finest food and marvellous music, was due to have been staged this weekend. It would have brought more than 5,000 people to a marquee in the town’s Baird Park.
“We were gutted we couldn’t stage one of the north-east’s most popular events this year – but the health and safety of our festival-goers and volunteers is more important to us than any other consideration, as is the need to protect the NHS,” said Robert.
“When we announced the festival wouldn’t go ahead, we were mindful of the many charities who look to the Happening for help. That’s a particularly keen need in these challenging times. We are just delighted so many people have now given so much.
“It will be put to good use by the Men’s Shed. It is a vital resource for our town that offers men a place to meet, socialise, get involved in projects, make new friends, learn new skills and combat social isolation.”
Bill Allan, chairman of the Stonehaven Men’s Shed said: “This is truly amazing and reflects the tremendous generosity the community is showing at this difficult time.
“This will enable us to meet the shortfall in revenue we require to meet our running costs this year.
“It will also enable us to put something back into the community by allowing us to buy materials, and use our own labour to do community projects like benches for the new boardwalk.”
While the Happening didn’t take place at the Baird Park, it did move online with fans invited to take part in a virtual Hawaiian shirt day on Saturday.
Robert said: “For the past couple of years, we’ve asked people to wear Hawaiian shirts on the last day of the festival and handed out colourful garlands. This year we asked people to take selfies in their bright shirts and shades and post them. A lot of people had a lot of fun… and a lot of them made a donation for the Men’s Shed while they were doing it.”
Plans are already underway for the return of the Happening next year, said Robert.
“We will be back and we can’t wait to welcome everyone. We’ve missed them.”
Keep up to date with all that's happening with the Happening - make sure you don't miss out!
The Beer Happening doesn't just happen, if you'll pardon the pun.
It couldn't go on without the hard work of the volunteers who put it together, man the pumps and look after you while you are here. Our thanks to them and to the sponsors and organisations who supported us.
They all make it possible for us to say to you, "Welcome to the Happening and cheers."
Robert Lindsay Organiser