Fizz goes out of failed gin festival

Julian Pitts and Nick Reed, partners at Begbies Traynor, have been appointed as joint administrators to Gin Festival Ltd, which was trading as GinFestival.com, and which organised and managed a series of craft gin festivals around the UK

Despite marketing the company in the build up to the appointment, with the aim of finding a buyer for the business based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, no offers have been forthcoming and it has now closed with the loss of all 27 jobs.

The entire programme of 20 gin festivals planned for the coming months has been cancelled, including last weekend’s Gin Festival Norwich, which was sold out for three out of the four planned Friday‐Sunday sessions.

The company was not in a position to reimburse advance ticketholders for this event. This will also apply to anyone who has purchased tickets for the forthcoming GinFestival.com events scheduled to take place between now and November in Sandown, Worcester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Lincoln, Portsmouth, London, Wakefield, St Albans, Sheffield, Oxford, Edinburgh and Leicester.

Begbies Traynor said GinFestival.com, which was established in 2013, 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 also set up an e‐commerce operation selling craft gins direct to customers, both of which increased the financial burden on the company.

Julian Pitts, Begbies Traynor partner and joint administrator, said: ‘It’s a huge shame that Gin Festival.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.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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