Putting the ‘fest’ in Gin Festivals

We were pondering gin festivals this week (as you do) and wondering if there was a time in recent history when they didn’t exist? And who was the bright spark who first came up with the idea?

Idle pondering aside, gin festivals are a central cog in the Scottish Gin industry these days, introducing gin-lovers to new brands and allowing them to chat to the makers and for distillers, they provide the opportunity of exposure to a new audience.

If you’ve ever attended a gin festival in Scotland (and we’ve been to quite a few), you’ll no doubt have been struck by the fun, friendly atmosphere and the sense of comradery amongst the distillers and producers that exhibit at them.

When the team from Social & Cocktail Events came up with the idea for a series of gin events around Scotland, they had two thoughts in mind:

  • Rather than just a hall with tables and gins (which seems to be the norm) they wanted to create more of a festival atmosphere, with a mix of gins, music, entertainers, masterclasses, food stalls, charity raffles, gin inspired cakes & bakes, gin cocktails and lots more.
  • instead of focussing on cities, they wanted to include more towns and smaller districts which are often ignored by the main festivals and events. the plan was to engage and work with local food suppliers, gins, bars and musicians to encourage more of a local community “vibe”.
And so, GinFall was born.  So far the team have run 4 events in Pollokshields, Hamilton, Greenock and Helensburgh with up to 1,000 attendees at each.
The gin festivals feature a wide range of Scottish gin brands(and some from much farther afield), and the masterclasses give attendees the chance to go home feeling as though they have really learned something about the gins they’ve sampled.  Gin lovers at GinFall also get a free gin cocktail with their ticket.
John McIver, one of the founders of GinFall says:
GinFall has been an exciting journey so far in 2018. We have been delighted by the response we have had from attendees, exhibitors and venues and we are already planning on how to make the GinFall experience bigger and better in 2019. The response from Oban and Dunoon has been incredible, with over 60% of tickets already sold for both shows, plus we are really excited about our Christmas GinFall event in Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Glasgow, as this is the venue in which the GinFall journey began, so we`re going to make it extra special for everyone!”
At the time of writing, there are 3 new GinFall events planned:
Sat 27th Oct – The Corran Halls, Oban
Sat 24th Nov – Queens Hall, Dunoon
Sat 15th Dec – Pollokshields Burgh Hall, Glasgow (Christmas Event)

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