Sheffield gin festival cancelled as firm goes into adminstration - and ticket holders won't get refund

The Gin Festival was due to take place in Sheffield in September.
The Gin Festival was due to take place in Sheffield in September.

A two day gin festival due to take place in Sheffield has been axed after its organisers went into administration - and ticket holders have been told they won't get a refund.

Gin Festival Sheffield was due to take place at Kelham Island in September - but the plug has now been pulled on the event after the West Yorkshire-based company which organises events across the UK called in the administrators.

It means anyone who has purchased advance tickets for the event will not get their money back.

As a result of the firm's collapse, all 27 members of staff employed by the business have been made redundant and the entire programme of 20 gin festivals planned for the coming months has been cancelled, including a sold-out event in Norwich this weekend.

Insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor have been appointed as administrators to Gin Festival Limited - trading as GinFestival.com - the Keighley-based firm which held the craft gin festivals across Britain.

Despite Begbies Traynor marketing the company in the build up to the appointment with the aim of finding a buyer, no offers have been forthcoming and a closure administration will take immediate effect.

A statement said: "The company will not be in a position to reimburse ticketholders for Gin Festival Norwich in relation to advance tickets bought.

"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.

GinFestival.com, which was established in 2013, encountered financial difficulties after it invested heavily in expanding its online presence.

The statement added: "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 of Begbies Traynor 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.”

A statement from the firm's directors said: "It is with deep regret that we have had to take the decision to put the Gin Festival 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 5 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."

The event was due to take place on September 21 and 22 and promised a "fabulous range of gins, from all over the world, including exclusive gems you can’t get anywhere else."