Gin festivals cancelled after organiser goes into administration

Twenty gin festivals due to be held across the UK over the coming months have been cancelled after the financial collapse of the organiser.

Gin Festival Ltd, which traded as ginfestival.com, has gone into administration with the loss of 27 jobs.

Consumers who bought tickets for the events have been advised they will not receive refunds and to contact their credit card provider or Paypal instead.

Insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor said it had attempted to find a buyer for the business as a going concern, without success, in the days leading up to it entering administration.

Cancelled events included a festival due to be held in Norwich last weekend which was sold out for three of its four sessions.

Other events scheduled for locations including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Sandown, Sheffield, St Albans, Wakefield and Worcester between now and November have also bitten the dust.

Begbies Traynor said ginfestival.com encountered financial difficulties after it invested heavily in expanding its online presence.

The business attempted to bring online ticket sales for its events in-house and set up an e‐commerce operation selling craft gins direct to customers, both of which increased the financial burden on the company.

Joint administrator Julian Pitts said: “It’s a huge shame that ginfestival.com has been placed in administration.

“The loss of jobs is always extremely disappointing and in this case approximately 20,000 tickets have also been sold for forthcoming events which will not be reimbursed as part of the administration process.

“Anyone who has purchased tickets for any of the events organised by ginfestival.com would be best advised to check with their credit or debit card provider as to whether they may be covered for the loss under the Chargeback system.

“Our aim was, of course, to find a purchaser for the business as a going concern in order to safeguard the jobs, but unfortunately, despite our efforts, this did not prove possible.

“We are now in the process of realising what assets we can in order to achieve the best possible returns for creditors.”

The company was founded by Marie and Jym Harris in 2013. In a statement on the landing page of their website the pair said: “It is with deep regret that we have had to take the decision to put the business into administration.

“We tried everything we could to rescue the business so that it would not come to this but unfortunately, we have not been able to do so.

“We know this will be disappointing to you and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We want to thank all our amazing customers/suppliers for their support over the years.

“After five years of hard work and passion, this was not a decision we have taken lightly and personally this will mean we lose our home and everything we have worked hard to build.

“We ask that you may be able to provide us with your compassion and understanding at this extremely difficult time for us.”