Leeds Events Company Launches in Face of Adversity

At a time when the industry is hard hit, Rolling Social Events has been launched by Samantha Fish and Bruce Lerman, two of Leeds’ most famous names in hospitality.

“There is no denying that this is a difficult time for the hospitality industry,” says co-founder Bruce Lerman. “But Rolling Social was always our plan, and we figured that if we get started now, when we come out the other side we’ll be ready and raring to go.”

The Sam and Bruce partnership first emerged when they hosted Leeds Rum Festival, this year due to celebrate its 5th birthday on 19 September at The Corn Exchange. In 2019, The Corn Exchange was also home to the pair’s Leeds Gin Fair. Both events were very popular, partly owing to Sam and Bruce’s ideas, but also because of their knowledge and their network of contacts.

The new company’s first event – a Gin Picnic at Kirkstall Abbey – had to be postponed as part of the lockdown, but hasn’t dampened Sam and Bruce’s enthusiasm and optimism.

Gin Picnic will definitely be back,” says Bruce. “It might look different, it will likely be even better, but it will be back.”

So, what to do when people can’t come out to enjoy a big event? Well, a new event from Rolling Social called Sip Along should give rum-lovers everywhere a treat during lockdown – bringing the tipple to your door.

“We know people are missing the social side of Leeds right now,” says Bruce who owns Hedonist Bar in the City Centre.

“And we in the industry are missing our customers and the general vibe, too, so we have created an interim event to bring us back together and celebrate the world’s most diverse spirit – rum!”

Carnival dancers enjoying the Rum Festival

The first Sip Along will be hosted on Zoom on Friday 12th June at 7.30pm. Ticket holders will receive six samples of rum – worth around £35 – and will then hook up with Sam, Bruce and other rum lovers for an online gathering hosted by Plantation Rum’s brand ambassador Paul McFadyen.

Paul is a familiar face at the rum festivals, having entertained and educated Rum Festival goers for the last four years. His masterclasses, sharing his knowledge and passion, have proven very successful.

“Paul’s masterclasses are always popular at Leeds Rum Fest,” Bruce continues. “So we’re delighted that he agreed to host our first ever Sip-along. At this event he will be introducing us to a brand-new Rum from Fiji – we can’t wait!

Plantation Rums hail from different islands and different plantations across the Caribbean (hence the name). Paul will talk through the effect that the land has on the flavour of each Rum sharing his in-depth knowledge of the different environments and why they affect the flavour of the Rum.”

Bruce and Sam

Sam explained “Rolling Social’s mission is to create modern experiences that connect our guests through food and drink. Our Festivals have always had that at their heart; they’re not about us making a quick buck and disappearing – we never oversell tickets and we are committed to bringing quality to the independent Leeds scene. We’re about celebrating, sharing knowledge, and bringing people together for a good time.

We are proud to have succeeded in this mission and it will always be the ethos of Rolling Social Events.”

Sip-Along: Rum is on Friday 12th June at 7.30pm. Early bird tickets cost £20.

Six samples of Rum will be delivered to your home free of charge. Ticket holders will receive a link to join the gathering on the evening.

Book online https://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Plantation-Rum-S

For more information on Rolling Social Events visit www.rollingsocialevents.com

Photographs provided by Rolling Social Events.

Stay Informed

Stay Informed

Further reading


Get Involved

Leeds Living is run entirely by volunteers with contributions from the community. We are an open platform and welcome anyone with an interest in Leeds, to get involved.

Stay Informed


Until you tell us otherwise we’ll now send you irregular emails packed full of all things Leeds.

You can stop this anytime you like and we’ll never use your email address for any other reason or share it with anyone.