ORGANISERS of Devizes Beer Festival are clamping down on people who turn up without a ticket or try to bring in their own alcohol.

Don Jones from Devizes CAMRA has warned people there will be bag checks at the entrances on Saturday when the 19th beer festival is held at The Wharf from 11am to 10pm. He said: "No one will be allowed to bring their own alcohol to Devizes Beer Festival.

"There will be bag checks at the entrances to the site and increased number of security staff to enforce the ban. In previous years, we turned a bit of a blind eye to people bringing in a little bit of their own drink so long as they were part of a larger group of ticket holders.

"Unfortunately, a few abused our hospitality by bringing in a load of alcohol from other sources. They took up space that was needed for ticket holders and left us with a horrible mess to clear up."

So the committee has decided to make the rules much clearer and not allow for any grey areas.

All tickets have been sold so Mr Jones has also warned people without a ticket not to try and get in. He said: "We will be restricting access to ticket holders only, and non drinkers attending with non-ticket holders possibly as a designated driver.

Anyone drinking alcoholic drinks without without a festival wrist band will be drinking alcohol in a licensed area without permission, and will be asked to leave.

"If people continue icoming to Devizes Beer Festival without a ticket they are threatening the future of the festival. This could mean forcing us to move to a new venue, or possibly cancel the festival altogether. All of us in Devizes CAMRA consider the home of Devizes Beer Festival to be the Wharf. However the festival has to be safe."

He said in the past people abused the system by saying they did not have a ticket because they would not be drinking but then producing a lot of cans of beer.

Last year this created a big problem with litter which was left strewn across the steps leading down to the canal.

But for those with a ticket there will be plenty of different beers on offer from nearby in Rowde and from as far away as Belfast and Yorkshire. Wine drinkers will be able to buy from the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. Children will be welcome and soft drinks and ice cream will also be available from trust's shop.

There will also be a full programme of live music starting with Devizes Town Band playing at noon and finishing with Troy Ellis who will play from 7.30pn to 9pm. Mr Ellis, who is the son of Alton Ellis, is a top reggae, ska and rocksteady singer.