Fans of adult beverages and the events in which they're celebrated are going to have a tricky time filling out their calendars from Saturday, February 16, through Saturday, February 23, this year. That's when Arizona Beer Week and Arizona Cocktail Week, two of the Valley's major events hailing craft beer and mixed drinks, overlap. Their dates, save for an extra day for Arizona Beer Week, are exactly the same.
Dudes, come on.
If the same thing hadn't happened last year, one might think there's an honest mistake in all this. Because, really, why would two big drinking events risk confusing, frustrating, and dividing their customer base because of a few silly days on the calendar?
Ah well, I'm sure the two parties have a logical explanation for what's going on -- right?
A public relations representative for Arizona Beer Week says they got to the dates first (the event is in its third year; Arizona Cocktail Week is in its second) and that they've expressed to Arizona Cocktail Week that the overlapping days aren't a good idea.
"If we go any later in February, we hit the Great Arizona Beer Festival. Any earlier and we run into other big events," the representative explained. "I have no idea why they [Arizona Cocktail Week] would want their week the same as ours. Arizona Beer Week was established and on every calendar prior to Cocktail Week. Everyone in the media has asked the same question."
In their own statement regarding the overlap, Arizona Cocktail Week says that the days of its event, which also happen to be the days of Arizona Beer Week, were selected for strategic reasons -- three to be exact:
"First, we wanted to make sure that Arizona Cocktail Week doesn't conflict with similar cocktail events nationwide. To further Arizona's cocktail culture, we rely on national talent to present and partake in our event. February 16 to 22 is when renowned mixologists are available, and without them, we would not have an event.
It is also the best time for the Hotel Valley Ho to accommodate the needs of Arizona Cocktail Week. They are a valuable partner and we have to make sure our event doesn't conflict with any they have scheduled on the property.
This time of year is full of festivities and our available weekends are limited. We don't want to compete with long-standing events such as the Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson, Arabian Horse Show and more."
In the statement, Arizona Cocktail Week (of which New Times is a co-sponsor) goes on to say it doesn't see a reason why the two experiences cannot co-exist and that it has reached out to Arizona Beer Week (of which New Times is a co-sponsor) to collaborate and cross-promote the events.
If that's happened, there's little evidence of it. Besides, what would be the benefit of doing so, given that both events are going on at the same time?
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One thing's for sure, despite the hoopla, nobody's budging. And if the two can't reach an agreement in the future, fans of both craft beer and cocktails can expect more of the same in 2014.