Fun outdoor beer garden event ideas

A beer garden is a great asset at any time, but especially during 2020, when keeping COVID-secure means encouraging customers to space further apart and avoid enclosed areas with poor ventilation.

At the same time, there is a growing appetite for entertainment. Some attempts to create COVID-secure drive-in festivals have been unable to go ahead – but pubs that have reopened for business are in a perfect place to fill that gap.

Here are four fun outdoor beer garden event ideas to help you maximise your revenues and keep your regulars entertained throughout the summer months and beyond.

1. Karaoke Night

Pipe your pub jukebox through your outdoor speakers and set up a beer garden karaoke night by having your punters sing along with their favourite tunes.

Sound Leisure VenueHub digital jukeboxes come complete with a microphone jack and a karaoke mode that mixes the audio from the microphone with the song that’s playing, allowing you to turn your pub jukebox into a karaoke machine in seconds.

2. Pub Quiz or Bingo

VenueHub jukeboxes also have built-in pub quiz and bingo modes with professionally recorded audio, so again, you can host entertainment at the drop of a hat.

Just make sure your jukebox audio can be heard through your outdoor speakers, if you want to hold beer garden bingo or open-air quizzing.

3. Open-Air Art Exhibitions

More and more independent venues feature works by local artists as a way to regularly change their decor and give the artist a showcase to boost their sales.

An outdoor art exhibition could be a good option for your beer garden, with work displayed spaced out around the edge and available for customers to buy and take home.

Keep delicate artworks in display cases or undercover, and be ready to move them indoors if heavy weather sets in.

4. Fresh Air Festivals

A full-scale festival might be ambitious for the typical beer garden, but you could invite a local solo artist to perform an acoustic set to a socially distanced audience.

Again, if you have a pub jukebox with speakers throughout your premises, you might simply need to plug into the microphone jack for an instant fresh air festival that can be heard at the bar too – the best of both worlds so your punters don’t miss out while they’re buying a beer.

At Manco Automatics we continue to offer diverse entertainment for your pub, including fruit machines, jukeboxes and pub pool tables. Contact us by calling 0161 870 7777 or send us an email at for more information.

Preparing fruit machines for pubs, clubs and hotels for reopening

As more hospitality venues start to open back up, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare fruit machines for pubs, clubs and hotels for the long-term future of social distancing.

Nobody knows exactly how long we will need to live in a ‘COVID-secure’ way, but some of the more routine measures could remain in effect until a vaccine or cure is discovered.

The steps outlined below can help you to minimise the disruption for your guests, especially when it comes to having fruit machines for pubs, clubs and hotels available for them to play in a safe and COVID-secure fashion.

1. Location

The location of your fruit machine can have a natural effect on how easy it is for players to maintain social distancing.

It has always been common to place fruit machines against a far wall or in an otherwise awkward corner, to make more efficient use of space where you can’t fit a table.

Now, doing this brings the added advantage of keeping your fruit machine away from other customers, to put some distance – ideally more than two metres – between the machine and the nearest table or chairs.

2. Cleaning

Regular cleaning of surfaces is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On a fruit machine, that means particular focus on the parts of the machine that players touch, such as the buttons and the win tray.

You should also think about sanitising the vertical glass parts of the machine more often, especially any touchscreen elements or any area that is normally in front of the player’s face.

Here at Manco, we offer to fit sanitisation stations to the machines that we supply to our customers with the message, “Please sanitise before and after use” for added safety measures.

3. Distance

It’s not just the location of your machines that matters. If you have several pub fruit machines, make sure they are positioned with some distance between them.

Again, this is simply a way to keep players naturally spaced further apart – the more you can do without your customers having to think about it, the better your chances of keeping a COVID-secure venue.

4. Maintenance

Keeping your pub fruit machines well maintained can avoid unnecessary face-to-face discussions with customers, so please let us know if you have a machine in need of a service and we can arrange an engineer visit at an appropriate time.

5. Other Venues

Finally, keep in mind that these tips can apply differently in different venues. For example, a hotel fruit machine might be in a location with very little footfall, in which case it could be easier to maintain social distancing between the player and other guests.

Always take each scenario on its own merits and look for the advantages of each machine’s location, as by playing to those natural strengths you can make things a lot easier for yourself and for your players too.

If you require maintenance checks for your fruit machines as you get ready to reopen, Manco Automatics have decades of experience in ensuring that your machines work at the peak of their ability. Call us on 0161 870 7777, or email and we’ll be available to help.