The client 

Pelle Pub Co was founded by husband and wife team Steve and Hayley Pellegrini. This entrepreneurial couple has built their empire in the city over the last 10+ years, running three of Cambridge's most-loved pubs: The Portland Arms, The Hopbine, and The Alexandra Arms.

The brief

When Pelle Pub Co took on The Alexandra Arms, they inherited the traditions that make people choose it as their local. One of these was Alexfest: an annual free mini-festival running over a weekend each August.

Wanting to stay true to the ethos of the event but bring it more in line with their vision, they enlisted our help to revamp the festival. By hosting Alexfest, Pelle Pub Co wanted to build the overall profile of the business and increase footfall - all while raising money for a local charity.


This year saw our most successful Alexfest to date which was made possible by The Crane Event’s relaxed and fun approach. Seeing customers enjoying themselves so much that they felt the need to get up and dance, as well as raising money for a very worthy charity were only a couple of the highlights of a fun-packed weekend.
— Hayley Pellegrini, Partner, Pelle Pub Co


The main event

Scoping the event and sourcing acts

With first-hand experience of Alexfest as attendees in previous years, we were in a strong position to develop the festival whilst keeping the essence of what made it special. 

In past years Alexfest had been three days of music and, while successful, we wanted to make it more appealing to fans of all kinds of entertainment. We also had the added challenge of the venue being in a built-up residential area meaning we needed to keep the neighbours top-of-mind.
So, we decided to hone the music aspect and split the three days into three different categories: comedy for the opening, music on the Saturday, followed by a family fun day to finish things off.

We then set to work booking artists who we knew would be suitable for the event using our vast network of contacts. We worked with them to devise acoustic / stripped back versions of their sets, bespoke to Alexfest and its needs. For the family day we planned an afternoon of quizzes and games, followed by a movie to end a perfect weekend.

Promoting the event

With everything in place, we focused on marketing the event. This took shape in a highly effective social media teaser campaign that introduced the acts at strategic points to the target audience, building great momentum for the festival. Off the back of this, the musicians themselves shared the content with their fanbase who in turn engaged with it. We also encouraged interaction through votes for which movie to play and what food deals should be available.
One of our favourite ideas was giving away free Pelle Pub Co discount cards to attendees with the name Alex. This resulted in great interaction on social media and an overwhelming amount of people named Alex in attendance.

Pelle Pub Co supports a local Charity of the Year and after seeing firsthand all the good work they do, Hayley and Steve chose Arthur Rank Hospice. We made sure that the charity was the focus of the festival through all communication.
Leading up to the event, we kept people informed about the weather and what precautions we were taking due to the threat of rain. We also advised the client to notify local residents about the event itself and invite them to come down for a pint!

It was wonderful to see how the efforts of The Alex and The Crane Event have also brought in more of a family audience to Alexfest. The work they did around raising the profile of the festival had the added benefit of simultaneously making more people aware of the Arthur Rank Hospice.
— Dawn Easby, PR & Communications Officer, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

The results

Across the 3-day festival Alexfest:

  • Raised almost £600 for Arthur Rank Hospice
  • Increased usual weekend turnover threefold
  • Reached 14,000 via social media and achieved over 400 event responses
  • Built up an amazing entertainment list of acts who want to play in future years
  • Had repeat customers over the whole 3 days
  • Gave debrief and presented ideas of further expansion across all venues

Alexfest is close to our hearts. A community event hosted by a local independent pub company, featuring something for all. We were proud of adding their twist to an annual tradition and look forward to working with Pelle Pub Co each year, expanding the concept and raising money for their chosen charity. 

You can find out about the latest Alexfest by following: @thealexcb1