PORTSMOUTH’S hotly-anticipated Gin Festival has been cancelled after its organisers went into administration.
The fixture was set to make its fourth outing in Guildhall Square in August but will now wind down, with all its 27 staff being made redundant.
Insolvency practitioners from national firm Begbies Traynor were appointed as administrators to organisers Gin Festival Limited yesterday, which had been trading as GinFestival.com.
But despite also marketing the brand - with an aim to find a buyer – Gin Festival’s 20 events across the country over the coming months have been written-off and a closure has taken immediate effect.
Julian Pitts and Nick Reed will oversee the operation.
Mr 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.’
Based in West Yorkshire, as as in Portsmouth Gin Festival was scheduled to soon run events in Sandown, Worcester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Lincoln, London, Wakefield, St Albans, Sheffield, Oxford, Edinburgh and Leicester, among other cities.
It was also supposed to put on an event this weekend in Norwich.
In a statement sent to The News announcing the closure, it was said GinFestival.com encountered financial difficulties after pumping money into its online promotional campaign.
The firm also battled with deficits after selling craft gins direct to customers – as well as managing its online tickets sales itself.