In what could be a foreshadowing of what we will see in the cigar industry for the last 4 1/2 months of 2021, Drew Estate announced it has suspended its in-person events for the remainder of 2021. This includes the cancellation of the 2021 Barn Smoker Season as well as the postponement of the DE25 celebration in Dallas, Texas. The action is being taken due to increasing health and safety concerns resulting from the rise of the COVID-19 Delta Variant, which continues to spread rapidly throughout the country.
In addition, effective August 14th, Drew Estate personnel will not attend any multi-vendor events, trade shows, and, until further notice, will not attend any Drew Estate In-Store Events in person (for all of which they will seek to work with their retail partners to hold virtually for the time being).
Drew Estate says the decision to suspend all in-person events is designed to ensure the safety of its team members, valued trade partners, vendors, and, of course, the tens of thousands of consumers who attend Drew state events nationwide.
The following events have been cancelled for the remainder of 2021, postponed (in the case of DE 25th Anniversary Event), or suspended until further notice (in the case of in-person Drew Estate In-Store Events):
- Connecticut Barn Smoker – August 13 and 14
- DE25 – September 25 (postponed until 2022)
- Kentucky Barn Smoker – October 6
- Florida Barn Smoker – November 18 and 19
- All In-Person Participation at Multi-Vendor Events and Trade Shows (effective August 14th)
- All In-Person Drew Estate In-Store Events (effective August 14th, will be replaced as virtual)
The company says Barn Smoker attendees will receive a full refund of their ticket price within three to five business days of this announcement and will have the first opportunity to purchase Barn Smoker tickets next season.
As for DE 25, the company says it is a postponement but does not yet know exactly when circumstances will allow it to be rescheduled in 2022. Drew Estate will at this time provide a full refund to all who purchased tickets directly from Drew Estate, and all such ticket purchasers will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets when DE25 is rescheduled.
DE25 attendees who purchased a ticket or table directly from Drew Estate/Eventbrite will also receive their refund within three to five business days, however, if they have purchased a ticket through a retail partner, they should contact that retailer directly.
In a press release from Drew Estate Headquarters in Miami, FL, Glenn Wolfson CEO notes, “This decision was incredibly difficult and painful for our Executive Team, especially knowing how excited all of us were to be back together again for our lifestyle event season, as well as with all of you for our Brick & Mortar events. We want to take this moment to thank our retailers, farmers, suppliers, vendors, and countless others who’ve made significant contributions in partnering with Drew Estate to plan and deliver these world-class events. Many thanks as well to our Territory Managers, Ambassadors, and Marketing team members for their never-ending great work, both at our large experiential events and at our In-Store Events with retail partners.”
From Sag Harbor, NY, Drew Estate President and Founder Jonathan Drew adds, “My heart deeply aches as we make this announcement. We were truly looking forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary together in Dallas and getting back both to the farms and your stores, together in fellowship, after being away for so long. I imagine that there will be feelings of disappointment and confusion from our consumers around the globe, but just know that your good ole Drew Estate is right by your side, as always, loyal and unwavering. We look forward to being reunited real soon, safely sharing our love of the leaf, together and in person. In the coming weeks, we will begin to provide our loyal DE Family the details of our pivots to upcoming Freestyle Live’s, Freestyle Live: Special Edition, Marquee Events, plus new concepts in virtual store events. Love you guys, be safe. Long Live the Rebirth of Cigars!”