Click here to book tickets online

A Joint Statement from Barrow Hill Roundhouse and the Rail Ale Team

After much debate and heart searching, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel Rail Ale 2020.  Back in March rescheduling to August seemed a reasonable decision but, with no end in sight to lockdown restrictions on large gatherings or a loosening of the Government’s instructions on social distancing, we feel this is the only responsible choice we could make.

As many of you will know Rail Ale 2020 would have been our 20th year but the welfare and safety of visitors to this hugely popular event as well as that of our staff, volunteers, traders and musicians is of the utmost importance.

We can promise you that Rail Ale 2021 will be as big as – and hopefully even better than – Rail Ale 2020 was going to be.  We have been in touch with many of the bands due to headline at Rail Ale 2020 as well as our fantastic sponsors and the numerous breweries and pubs who support us and we are working hard on plans for 2021 to make up for the cancellation of this year’s Festival.

Rail Ale 2021 will take place on 9th, 10th and 11th September 2021 and we hope you will put these dates in your diaries in preparation to celebrate big style!

We would like to offer our sincere apologies to all those who have already booked tickets for this year’s Festival.  Tickets for Rail Ale 2020 will be valid at Rail Ale 2021. However, if you would prefer to have your tickets refunded, please contact the outlet you bought tickets from. For online tickets this is  Tickets for Rail Ale 2021 will go on sale online in 2021 - more details to follow.

The cancellation of this year’s Festival will no doubt be a great disappointment to many of you – our incredible team of staff and volunteers who work so hard to make this event happen are equally saddened.

However, we are looking forward to welcoming you all back to the Roundhouse in 2021.  You can keep up-to-date with details of the revised dates and our plans at or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stay safe and take care.

Welcome . . .

. . . to Rail Ale Festival's dedicated website, where you can find information on previous Festivals and keep up-to-date with news of Rail Ale 2021, including where to buy tickets, links to our sponsors, beer lists and confirmed musical acts.

You will also find regular updates on Rail Ale on our Twitter feed and on Barrow Hill Roundhouse's Facebook page. Click on the links to follow us. And don't forget to add us to your Favourites list on your internet browser.

What an amazing three days! Thank you to everyone who came to Rail Ale 2019.

An especially big thank you to all our volunteers, without whom there would be no Rail Ale, our sponsors, CAMRA, our ticket outlets and all the pubs who supported us.  We are now looking forward to Rail Ale 20 in 2020 – if you thought 2019 was pretty good, just wait and see what we have planned for next year.

Once again we will be lining up three days of fantastic entertainment for you. To quench the thirst there will be over 350 real ales from around the country including many brewed very close to this corner of Derbyshire, a great range of ciders and craft beers and the return of the incredibly popular Rail Ale Gin Palace and the Prosecco & Wine Bar.

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 and roll.

The Food Court will be on hand to provide you with a tasty range of food to suit every appetite from pork pies to pancakes and hog roast to pizza; not forgetting the chocolate, the cheese and even coffee!

Between 12noon and 5pm on Friday and Saturday the popular Rail Ale train will be running for our visitors. The dedicated FREE bus service will also be running from Chesterfield railway station into the Festival on all three days.

Thursday 20th May will be our Trade and VIP day and we will be taking bookings for this from December 2020. If you are a publican, brewer or supplier to the brewery industry and would like to attend the Trade Day please email us at

Thank you everyone and see you soon!

click here to visit our twitter pageclick here to visit our facebook page Don't forget to 'Like' us!

Please note that although we welcome children at Rail Ale, all under 18s must leave the Festival at 5pm on each day.  This is strictly an adults-only event from 5pm.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Rail Ale 2019 Beer of the Festival - Category Winners and Champion of the Festival, click here for the full list.

Thank you to all those breweries who took part in this year's Beer of the Festival competition. There were some fantastic beers to choose from and all the Category Winners must be congratulated on the quality of beers they put into the competition.

All the beers were judged anonymously by several panels of independent judges and thanks must also go to everyone who offered to undertake this very demanding task - it's such hard work drinking beer!

Well done everyone.
The Rail Ale 2019 team.

Craig Charles Party Nights

Click here to buy your tickets for Craig Charles.


Click here to visit the Fuller's Brewery website Click here to visit the Everards brewery website Green King Sponsors of Barrow Hill Rail Ale


Click here to visite Batemans websiteClick here to visit the websitePlease click here to visit the websiteClick here to visit the website Blue Monkey BreweryClick here to visit the Timothy Taylor brewery websiteClick here to visit the websiteClick here to visit the oakham ales website

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any discounts for CAMRA members? Yes, when CAMRA members register at the CAMRA desk in the Roundhouse they will be given a voucher to spend on drinks.

Can we bring children to Rail Ale? Under 18s are allowed to attend the Festival until 5pm on each day.  After 5pm the event is strictly over 18s only.  There is no charge for children to attend.

Are dogs allowed at Rail Ale? Well behaved dogs are always welcome at the Roundhouse but please be aware that there will be crowds and lots of noise, which some dogs may find unsettling.

Is camping allowed at Rail Ale? There are no facilities for camping at the Roundhouse.  However, there are campsites near the Roundhouse, the nearest being at Poolsbrook Country Park.

Are gluten free/vegan drinks and food available at Rail Ale? We do our best to source a wide variety of drinks and food to suit all tastes and requirements.  Please ask the bar servers or catering outlets if you are unsure.

Do you operate a cash bar or token system? We operate a token system at Rail Ale. These can be bought upon entry to the Festival and the bar servers will then mark off the cost of each drink as it is purchased. The tokens cannot be used at the catering outlets. No token refunds will be given after time is called.

Are there any cash machines? There are no cash machines at the Roundhouse.  The nearest cash machines are in Barrow Hill village.

Is there disabled parking and access? We have a disabled parking area in the car park near the entrance. Rail Ale is fully accessible; however please be aware that there are uneven surfaces in and around the Roundhouse so please ask our volunteers for assistance if you are encountering any difficulties.

Rail Ale Festival at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield, DerbyshireEvents at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield, derbyshire