Date Published: 6th July 2018
On 5 July 2018 insolvency practitioners from Begbies Traynor were appointed as administrators to
Gin Festival Limited, which was trading as GinFestival.com, a business based in Keighley, West
Yorkshire, which organises and manages a series of craft gin festivals around the UK.
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. Julian Pitts and Nick Reed have been appointed as joint administrators.
As a result, all 27 members of staff employed by the business will be made redundant and the entire
programme of 20 gin festivals planned for the coming months has been cancelled. This includes this
weekend’s Gin Festival Norwich, which was sold out for three out of the four planned Friday‐Sunday
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 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.”
Following graduation from the University of Hull, Julian qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in Leeds. In 1989 he was the joint founder of Wilson Pitts, a specialist independent practice dealing with all aspects of insolvency and corporate recovery work. Subsequently in 2006, the Wilson Pitts practice was acquired by Begbies Traynor where Julian is now the Regional Managing Partner for the North-East region.
Julian has significant experience in advising SMEs and their stakeholders, seeking innovative solutions to financial challenges.
With family roots in Devon, Julian has been a life-long supporter of Plymouth Argyle and he also spends time rallying a Mk1 Lotus Cortina as well as trying to reduce his golf handicap.