You may have already heard that there are a few new flair bartending events taking their place in the calendar for 2017, one of which is the Roadhouse Flair Freestyle competition! This will be the second of ten Roadhouse Flair heats happening throughout 2017 and culminating in the Roadhouse World Finals in November. The Roadhouse Flair Freestyle Competition takes place on Sunday February 26th 2017.
The Roadhouse Flair Freestyle Competition – What’s new?
The biggest change you may notice at the Roadhouse Flair Freestyle Competition is the way in which it is judged. Unlike other flair bartender competitions the Freestyle comp will have a unique scoring system consisting of two scores. An overall score out of 10 for flair, and an overall score out of 10 for entertainment. There will be no penalties for drops, spills or breakages and deductions will only be made for making the drink incorrectly.
This event is about encouraging competing flair bartenders to be more creative and entertaining with their routines. The incentive in other scoring systems can be interpreted as just box ticking, which may lead to a win in the competition but not a great performance for the crowd. For the WFA flair will always be first and foremost about the people who are coming to watch and support it, with this new approach we hope to reinvigorate the ‘showmanship’ within flair, highlighting its immense importance in pushing flair forward.
The Roadhouse Flair Freestyle competition structure will be more familiar however. There will be two rounds, a qualification round and a final round, both of which will allow 5 minutes on stage. The top 6 will make it through to perform in the final round.
A word from WFA Head of Gradings @thomasdyer-3 on the competition,”I want to see people being more creative on stage and really pushing the boundaries with the showmanship! Over the years it feels as if flair bartending may have become almost too pure, with the vast majority of people on the scene focussing specifically on the flair bartending moves and their difficulty, etc – as a result of this it has moved away from a form of entertainment and sport, which is what the crowd love to see. With this new style of scoring in the Freestyle comp we are looking forward to seeing flair bartending move more towards the people, after all without the people that come to watch flair bartending, it would barely exist”.
Why the big change to the Roadhouse calendar for 2017?
Here at the WFA we are always conscious of ensuring that we are pushing flair bartending forward year on year, advancing it as an artform, and a form of entertainment. Part of this is making alterations to the scoring systems and the structure of certain competitions, the other part is introducing new and exciting events.
There are a number of new events on the WFA Roadhouse Flair calendar this year including the Asian Open and the Freestyle Competition. The idea is to keep the Roadhouse Flair heats more dynamic and fresh, as the Roadhouse nights don’t just represent some of the best flair bartending competitions of the year but is also one of London’s most popular industry nights.
The Roadhouse Flair Industry Night
First and foremost the Roadhouse flair events have always been, and will always be, industry nights. An industry night is where people from all over London, sometimes even the UK will head to a location to hang out and meet like-minded people – the Roadhouse has been doing this mighty successfully for many, many years. Industry nights are full of people who also work in the service and hospitality industry such as bartenders, waiters, bar mangers, supervisors and more. Industry nights can also represent a great way to find a new or different job as you will often have the bar managers and assistants at the Roadhouse Flair events.
The original bartenders bar, the Roadhouse for many years has been the meeting point for London’s community of bar and hospitality industry workers – even back to the days when Tom Dyer had no hair! Not an ounce of pretentiousness in the place, the atmosphere at the Roadhouse Flair events is always very relaxed and very open. So if you are a first time visitor or a Roadhouse regular make sure you make your way down for the Freestyle Flair Competition on February 26th.
Entry is free before 10pm and £5 after. Everyone is welcome, so long as you are over 18 years of age and the all important happy hour is from 5.00-7.30 PM. With £1000 prize money up for grabs, the Freestyle competition is heating up to be a memorable one, don’t miss it!