During lockdown, Samantha Fish and Bruce Lerman launched Rolling Social Events and have since hosted a string of social distance events after a change to their approach to business.
Samantha and Bruce are well respected in the field of hospitality in Leeds and beyond, having founded Leeds Rum Festival and Leeds Gin Fair, both housed at Leeds Corn Exchange.
The first event of the new company – the Gin Picnic at Kirkstall Abbey – had to be cancelled owing to lockdown, which signalled a change of direction for the undaunted pair, and saw the creation of ‘Sip Along’, an event which ticket holders can attend in their own homes.
“People were missing social side of Leeds,” says Bruce who owns Hedonist Bar in the City Centre. “And we in the industry were missing our customers and the general City vibe, so we created an interim event to bring us back together and celebrate the things we love – spirits and connecting people.”
Since the inaugural event in June, Bruce and Sam have had a string of sell-outs since with rums, whiskies, gin, wine and vodka.
Zoom is the meeting point for Sip Along, after all ticket-holders receive a link to the event, together with a sample pack which is delivered free of charge to their homes. Each event has a brand ambassador, people with expertise in the product and craft.
“Traditionally we have focussed on Leeds – it’s where we’re from, where we work, and what we love,” explains Samantha. “Of course there are no geographical limits for the Sip Alongs and people all over the UK have joined us – we’ve even had requests from overseas, but we haven’t quite managed the delivery for that!”
There’s no plan to stop Sip Along events, as Sam explained:
“We know that there are still some who are nervous about returning to a social life, but also we have found people who really enjoy partying on their own sofa. There are many reasons people don’t or can’t go to town; child-care, accessibility, and cost are just a few and we are reaching those people with this new initiative. This totally fits our brand and we will continue taking a bit of the festival spirit into people’s homes whilst planning ahead for when our festivals can safely return to the City.
Our Festivals have always followed the same ethics; they’re not about us making a quick buck and disappearing – we never over-sell 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, and we’re really proud to have succeeded in sticking to this throughout a really difficult time.”
Friday October 30th at 7.30pm
A whistle-stop tour around the world of whisky hosted by Rolling Social Events and award-winning Stef Holt of Speciality Brands Drinks Agency with six expressions from some of the world’s top producers in Scotland, Japan, India, Taiwan, and the USA.
Tickets £27.50 Book here.
A History of Scottish Whisky with Glasgow’s Glengoyne
Alec Morgan, Whisky fanatic, and Regional Sales Manager for Ian Macleod Distillers will take you through a tasting of five Single Malts from the Glengoyne Distillery giving an insight into the history of Scotch
Tickets £27.50 Book here.
Feature photograph is from Leeds Rum Festival at The Corn Exchange.