Sheffield gin festival goers demand to have entry fee to 'shambolic' event refunded

The festival is being held at a number of venues across the city, including the O2 Academy
The festival is being held at a number of venues across the city, including the O2 Academy

A number of people attending this weekend's Sheffield Gin Festival have demanded to have their ticket prices refunded over claims the event did not provide the range of gins or type of experience promised by organisers.

Taking place over the course of this weekend, organisers promised those attending the Sheffield Gin Festival would 'sample a selection of the finest gin brands, taste a range of exciting street food, explore what Sheffield's most iconic venues have to offer and party late into the night at our special evening events'.

The cost of a ticket to the event, which costs between £8 and £12.50, was also advertised to include discounts on gin at a number of participating venues across the city.

It was also advertised that on entry, people attending would be given a gin sampling card that they can use to sample the range of gins on offer at the event, which centred around the O2 Academy.

But several festival goers claim that a number of the participating venues were not aware of the discount agreement, and refused to offer one. It has also been claimed that some of the participating venues did not offer more than one kind of gin as promised.

Several people have also complained that staff at the O2, and a number of the other participating, venues did not know how to make a gin and tonic and that the venue had run out of ice.

Some say they were also disappointed with the gin samples offered, and complained of long queues to redeem them.

A spokesman for the Sheffield Gin Festival said: "We have received a small amount of customer feedback and we will be contacting people directly via email to discuss this.

"For any further queries please email info@sheffieldginfestival.com"

Angry customers have also set up a Sheffield Gin Festival Feedback Facebook group to discuss their complaints at length.

Speaking on the group, Ruth Bettany wrote: "I came up from London for this especially to sample local gins enthusiastically.

"But where are Silent Pool, Loxley and Sheffield Gin and others? The reality of this event has not kept up with the publicity - I was also expecting events on Monday.

"The O2 venue stank of fast food not the unique aromas of gin. The bar staff were utterly useless - many reported it was their first day and they had had no training.

"None of them knew how to make a G&T. Food hygiene on the bars was poor. There was no ice and plastic cups are embarrassing to gin and destructive of the environment. Really poor."

Rebecca Ferguson added: "This is the worst drinks festival we've ever been to, it was laughable. Major disappointment!

"Should have known because the organisation seemed shambolic from the start.

"Venues were ill equipped to deal with number of ticket holders. No knowledge of gin. Terrible service.

"Can't even make a gin and tonic properly at any of the venues we went to. Expensive. Poor range.

"Free samples a joke never got any thanks to the queues. Heard so many complaints. The goodie bags had nothing in them."

Hilary O'Connor said: "Very disappointing not what I expected at all.

"The drinks I paid for at the bar was served in a plastic glass with no ice.

"Only one stall for the free samples and the queue so long didn't even bother to wait.

"Dark & dingy. Very poor value for money. Won't be visiting this again."