What is Junipalooza and what makes it different to other events?
Junipalooza is first and foremost a meet the maker gin show, which means we have the owners, founders and/or distillers behind each Gin present. We have roughly 60 Gin exhibitors each year and this therefore makes Junipalooza one of the most unique events when it comes to meeting the people behind your favourite spirits. It’s a show where people get to really learn what makes each Gin different while also trying them neat or in miniature G&T’s.
Junipalooza is also different in the fact that once you’ve purchased a ticket to the show, that’s all you’ll need in order to try anything you fancy at the show. It’s a fantastic opportunity to expand your horizon. Crucially, you can buy bottles direct from the makers themselves, giving you the chance to purchase what or who you believe in.
How has the event evolved since you launched Junipalooza?
It’s really been quite organic which is great to see. We started off with about 15 or 20 Gin producers, which was already a lot at the time, and now snowballed to about 60 every year. Junipalooza has also grown to being international with two other shows, one in Melbourne (which is bigger than London!) and a new one in Sydney. We have plans to reach other countries and cities in the years to come, so it’s really exciting to see the concept appeal abroad.
Since the start, we’ve always kept that promise that the maker will be at the show and that’s never going to change. What has been increasing over the years is that we’re able to host more experiential activities, allowing people to dive into the world of certain Gins as well as more masterclasses exploring hot topics. Gin distilleries also use Junipalooza as a great way to launch exclusives, limited editions or just new gins and that always provides that element of surprise!
Who is Junipalooza for - who will enjoy it?
We always try to make Junipalooza appeal to everyone, for those just starting out on their Gin journey or looking to explore more since there’s so much on offer. However, because we’ve got the makers there in person, we also appeal to those with a passion for gin, a geekiness for the spirit who are there to learn about the distillation process, the recipe formulation and the more intricate aspects of creating a Gin. No matter the knowledge level though, anyone will have a great time at Junipalooza since it’s really all about the love of Gin.
What's on at Junipalooza this year and what are you most excited about?
Planning for this year’s Junipalooza has proven tricky because of the ever-changing landscape but restrictions are easing and we hope everyone can enjoy a show under as normal circumstances as possible with health and safety measures still paramount. This year’s show will be the most UK and European centric we’ve ever had it so expect a great turnout from English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Gins. I’m really excited about working on some new and exciting experiential rooms that have touch (ceramics) and scent (perfumery) as centrepieces – more on all this to come very soon as we get closer to the show.
How has it been organising Junipalooza during lockdown?
Difficult to say the least. There’s been a lot of organising then reorganising, lots of new factors to take onboard and a lot more admin. Everyone involved in the show have been really fantastic, patient and understanding, whether that be Tobacco Dock, exhibitors, suppliers or ticket holders so it’s really nice to see it all come together at last. We all can’t wait to get to September and showcase these amazing gin distilleries.
Will covid restrictions change anything about the event?
Yes, we’re hoping these will be small changes but we will have to enforce some social distancing rules for queuing and some one way systems through rooms. Each guest will be given a glass to keep upon entry and the showguide will be entirely digital. The great benefit of having Gin exhibitors is that we will have the most amazing selection of hand sanitizers and all very readily available at each stand!
Junipalooza 2021 is taking place at Tobacco Docks, London, on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th 2021. Book tickets online via Spiritssociety.com