Rum Festival Manchester

Manchester Rum Festival takes place next month - the event's organiser Dave Marsland fills us in on what he has planned. 

Tell us about this year's Manchester Rum Festival...

Manchester Rum Festival has been running now for 8 years, and due to its year-on-year growth, has now moved to New Century Hall close to Victoria Station. It lands also on World Rum Day, Saturday 13th July, from 12-6pm!

Last year was rocking! How many visitors and exhibitors are you expecting for 2024?

Every year has sold out, and I’m expecting the same for 2024 as we grow our audience and target the style of festival towards a larger regional audience. This year will see 500 attendees experience the largest gathering of rums seen in the city of Manchester!

Education is always a key part of the show. What are the stand out talks and masterclasses this year?

This year will see the return of masterclasses as New Century Hall and its ground floor kitchen offered me the use of their secret bar! The space only holds 16 persons, offering a more intimate approach to masterclasses. Highlights include Ian Burrell with his "From Grass to Glass, the making of a Rum Brand" showcase with Equiano Rum, MONIN will be hosting a talk and taster surrounding the world of rum cocktails, from classics to contemporary via tiki. Finally, Damoiseau of Guadeloupe will be running their "Make your own Arranges” class, the first time this has been run at a European festival, and will be hosted by ambassador Danilo Grenci.

There are always innovations and new activations at the show. What else is new?

Rum Festival Manchester

I’m always looking for brands to become innovative in how they showcase themselves at Manchester Rum Festival, and this year is no different. From the styles of Mexican and Indian rum making its debut this year with Casa Tarasco and Old Monk respectively, followed by the terroir driven single cane Renegade of Grenada. The Carúpano Ritual will be showcased too, plus the rise of Madeira rum with William Hinton, O Reizinho and Shortridge Lawton.

Outside of the show, Manchester has a great bar scene - tell us where you're headed after the show to find some delicious rum cocktails.

Well, this year is a little different as MONIN and myself decided to showcase four different venues in the city of Manchester on their festival cocktail bar, highlighting rum serves from a variety of concepts. So, I’ll be having a cheeky rum cocktail from Exhibition, Hold Fast, New Century Kitchen and Northern Monk at the festival, before heading to each for the evening! Hold Fast are also hosting the official after-party, so another excuse to enjoy their selection of rums too! Then of course there’s the festival favourites of Blinker, Sterling, Schofield’s, Project Halcyon and Stray, so plenty to choose from!

Tickets to Manchester Rum Festival are available here