Leeds Rum Festival Goes Digital

This year, the Rum Festival, normally held at the wonderful Corn Exchange, will take place online from 7.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. on 19 September

Founders Samantha Fish and Bruce Lerman (Rolling Social Events) have been running successful ‘Sip Alongs’ as a response to lockdown and were really hoping the 6th Rum Festival would be at The Corn Exchange again, but realise that gatherings of hundreds of people are not yet safe.

“We’re so disappointed to not be at the Corn Exchange this year,’ says Co-founder Sam Fish.  “The team there have always been so supportive of us and we really hope to be back, but even if the Government guidelines changed before September 19th, we just don’t feel comfortable gathering en masse at this stage.”

The Festival offers hundreds of different rums and ticket-holders have the opportunity to talk to professional, join masterclasses and explore the history of this diverse spirit and its many flavours. Current ticketholders and those who were hoping to attend will still be able to do so, but from the comfort of their own sofas.

“Rolling Social Events mission is ‘to create modern experiences that connect our guests through food and drink’,” Sam continues. “We are passionate about this, and we weren’t about to let a pandemic take that away, so we got busy.”

Rolling Social Events have so far hosted 7 Sip Alongs and most were sell outs. Ticketholders receive a sample pack to their doorstep, along with a printed guide and a link to enable them to join the event on Zoom. They are greeted by the experts and taken through a tasting session onscreen.

“The Sip Alongs are great fun,” says Sam. “We’ve hosted, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Whiskies and Wine. People even get dressed up as if they were going out. We’ve discovered a whole new market of people who rather like socialising at home – be it for childcare, financial restrictions, accessibility, or just not wanting to hit the town.  It looks like the Sip Along is here to stay!”

Leeds Rum Festival ticketholders will receive 16 rums to sample, as well as a premade cocktail and mixers. 7 speakers from the industry will join them onscreen.

“Whilst we’re sad to not hook up with our regulars, and slurp, sing and dance, we are really excited to still bring the Rum Festival to those who want it,” Sam concludes. “We are ready to bring a bit of the City Centre into homes across the country.”

Tickets are £33 including booking fee and are on sale at https://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Leeds-Rum-Fest-1For more information email [email protected]

16 Rum Samples to your Door:

Fino Daiquiri made with Takamaka White –  Takamaka Coco – Takamaka St Andre – Diplomatico Mantuano – Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva – Single Vintage 2005 – Veritas – Trois Rivieres – Clairin Communal – Damoiseau Arrangés Pineapple & Vanilla – Damoiseau Arrangés Mango & Passion Fruit – Companero Elixir – Companero Gran Reserva – Black Tears Cuban Spiced – La Progresiva 13 – plus two from Plantation Rums tbc

Expert speakers and presenters, heads filled with knowledge and fun:

Jody Monteith from Highball Brands – font of all knowledge on the Takamaka. 
Jon Lister – European Ambassador for Diplomatico 
Dean McGregor – UK Rum Ambassador for Speciality Brands bringing you a bit of Veritas, Trois Rivieres and Clairin
Danilo Grenci – Brand Ambassador for Damoiseau Rhums
Joshua Singh – Brand Owner of Companero Rums
Peter Thornton – Brand Ambassador for Black Tears Cuban Rum and La Progresiva Cuban Rum
Paul McFadyan – Brand Ambassador for Plantation Rum, a regular at Leeds Rum Festival, Paul is yet to confirm which of his delights he will bring.

Future Sip Alongs:

On Friday August 28th Rolling Social will host its second Wine Sip Along with Leeds independent Latitude and South African Wines Waterkloof. More information and tickets here https://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Rolling-Social-6

Photograph is from Leeds Rum Festival 2017 at The Corn Exchange.

Adam Kershaw

Adam combines his interest in Leeds with a flair for writing discovered back in school days. He says he'll tackle any topic as long as it's Leeds.

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