2017 The Year of Rum!
2016 saw the UK enjoy an expansion of Rum Festivals with individually organised events in London, Cardiff and Leeds and that trend is set continue in 2017, in magnificent fashion with the announcement of a series of twelve (yes twelve) linked rummy events across the UK, all of which are the brainchild of Lucy Douglas, a rum fan and experienced organiser who thinks rum is set to hit the big time.
We love to promote and share opportunities for rum lovers of all experience, from novice to guru to get involved with rum and sugarcane spirits, so we just had to find out what was on her mind with this ambitious plan of rumminess!
TheFloatingRumShack [TFRS]: What makes your Rum Festivals different to the norm?
Lucy Douglas [LD]: The Rum Festival is an event unlike your usual tasting events. Above all it's a party - Rum is the most versatile of the spirits and should be accessible to everyone. Everyone knows about vodka and gin but a lot of people haven't yet discovered rum as the perfect spirit. Often, I speak to people and they say 'oh I don't like rum' and then you ask them what their favourite cocktail is and they say 'I love a Mojito or a Mai Tai'. The Rum Festival is an opportunity for everyone to try some great rums but also have a fun Friday or Saturday night - live music, cocktails, and great street food - it's a party or carnival vibe, above all it's fun!
TFRS: How to enjoy the rum being more important than the technicalities of how it's made?
LD: Yes, absolutely. If you are interested in how rum is made, there will be some distillers present who can tell you all about the techniques they use, and we'll have some live bloggers in our speaker’s corner if you do wish to learn, but mostly we'll be recommending rums based on your taste and trying to enlighten our guests to some of the great new products becoming more and more accessible. We will recommend rums to try neat, or on the rocks, or ones which work really well with ginger or coconut water... There is absolutely a rum for everyone!
TFRS: You have an ambitious plan of 12 festivals being planned for 2017. Why rum and why now?
LD: Yes - the plan is to hit 12 cities in 2017 starting in Nottingham at the end of February. Having been in the drinks trade for most of my working life I have seen trends come and go - I watched the VodBull phase, have enjoyed being part of the gin revolution and have gradually seen Rum begin to find its place in the market. After years of working for other businesses I wanted to set something up I was passionate about and proud of, and I thought if not now then I would never realise my dream.
TFRS: So far, three events have dates against them (on the http://therumfestival.co.uk website) - when can you hope to confirm the rest?
LD: So, I'm happy to announce our first five events are now live and I have cities planned for the rest with just venues to be confirmed: Nottingham 24/25th Feb, Birmingham 10th/11th March, Sheffield 31st March / 1st April, Newcastle 28th /29th April, Norwich 12th/13th May, (a date in June is TBC), then Edinburgh 29th/30th September, Southampton 13th/14th October, Brighton 27th/28th October (Zombie Pirate Halloween Special), then Lincoln 10th / 11th November, Reading 24th/25th November and a Christmas special TBC!
Rum Databank: The Rum Festivals