London Wine Fair postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

20 March, 2020

The London Wine Fair is the latest high profile-event to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world.

The event was due to take place from May 18-20 at Kensington Olympia, but organiser Hemming Group has been forced to call it off. It follows the UK government’s decision to restrict mass gatherings in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease it causes.

Hemming Group said postponing LWF was a “difficult decision” taken with “a heavy heart”.

“We are keenly aware that the developing COVID-19 pandemic is putting immense pressure on not only the events industry, but the drinks industry and the hospitality industry,” it said in a statement. “We value our position at the heart of both and will always make decisions with them front of mind. 

“Experience dictates that the bulk of organising for exhibitors and sponsors happens between now and the event.  Our objective in taking this decision with two month’s lead-time, is to minimise unnecessary expenditure and stress caused by uncertainty.

“The safety of our exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, suppliers and in-house team of course takes over-riding precedence in the bigger picture.

“We plan to release more information about the next steps for London Wine Fair as soon as possible. Given the exceptional circumstances and elevated number of stakeholders to consider, we would ask for your patience in the interim period.”

Prowein was supposed to take place in Germany this week, but that was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will not return until next year.

Vinitaly was postponed until June, and it remains to be seen whether Italy – which is now the worst hit country in the world, with more coronavirus deaths than China – will be ready to host a trade fair by then.

Vinexpo Hong Kong was moved from late May to early July, while ProWine Asia was moved to July. The TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition in Singapore was cancelled too.

There have now been around 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, and the official death toll has passed the 10,000 mark.

Digital Edition

Drinks International digital edition is available ahead of the printed magazine. Don’t miss out, make sure you subscribe today to access the digital edition and all archived editions of Drinks International as part of your subscription.


La'Mel Clarke

Service isn’t servitude: the skill of hosting

La’Mel Clarke, front of house at London’s Seed Library, looks at the forgotten art of hosting and why it deserves the same respect as bartending.