Tom Kerridge has helped to ensure the survival of the Pub in the Park food and music festival after the collapse of organiser Brand Events Limited due to 'huge COVID-19 losses'.

Brand Events Limited, the company behind Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park food and music festival, which annually kicks off its UK-wide tour in Higginson Park, Marlow, quietly entered administration in June 2023. 

While the company collapsed midway through the festival's events season, its remaining tour dates were unaffected thanks to the speedy formation of a new enterprise, Pub in the Park Limited, with Tom Kerridge on board as a minority shareholder.

A spokesperson for the newly formed company said the Michelin-starred chef was "not a shareholder or involved in the running of" Brand Events Limited but stepped in over the summer alongside other business partners to "ensure the festival's survival".

They emphasised that Brand Events Limited had run various other events alongside Pub in the Park and attributed its collapse to "huge COVID-19 losses", which The Times reported had left creditors including two local authorities thousands of pounds out of pocket. 

The spokesperson added: "Pub in the Park has always been successful and operated throughout this summer, with six further festivals taking place since the administration of Brand Events Limited.

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"Tom and other investors worked closely with all involved to ensure that Pub in the Park continued this summer and will continue strongly into the future.

"Pub in the Park now operates separately in a new company which has received significant investment. We are already planning a full and exciting programme next year."

Speaking to the Free Press earlier this month, Steve Lane, Managing Director of the festival said the 2024 celebration of all things food and music would offer ticket buyers "incredible value" for their money, with more free-to-attend talks, demonstrations and performances than ever before.

Although the festival appears to have been pared back ahead of next spring, with the four-day event scheduled to take place in just four locations - Marlow, Chiswick, Reigate and St Albans - rather than the former seven, Steve remained optimistic about its future. 

Reflecting on the flagship Marlow celebration, which will take place from May 16 to May 19, 2024, he said the organisers were considering petitioning Buckinghamshire Council for a larger events space as the festival's content continues to evolve.

The Pub in the Park website states: "Next year we plan to replace our regional touring format with four newly designed, bigger and better festivals. Each event will have its own unique characteristics that we are really excited about.

"We are sad not to be returning to towns where we've had so much fun in the past, but in the current climate our Pub in the Park smaller shows are unfortunately unviable."