The company behind the Business Rocks tech festival is being put into liquidation – forcing the immediate cancellation of the 2017 event.

Business Rocks founder Jonny Cadden said too few key sponsors and keynote speakers had confirmed for this year’s event in Manchester, making it “unsustainable”.

In a statement the 37-year-old said: “I am hugely disappointed to announce the cancellation of Business Rocks 2017. I have put my everything into this vision for the last three years but regrettably have had to accept that my everything is not going to be enough, on this occasion.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to those people who have supported and helped me over the past three years. I am eternally grateful to each of you.

“It is with great sadness that the company is now in the process of being placed into liquidation.”

It was due to be held at Manchester Central on May 3rd and 4th.

Cadden was talking about the event as recently as February 17, when he took part in BusinessCloud’s ‘Focus on the tech scene in Manchester’ on February 17 at KPMG’s offices, but he was unable to secure the six-figure investment he needed.

In 2016 entrepreneur Scott Fletcher, founder of ANS Group, invested £250,000 into the event to make sure it went ahead.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was the headline speaker at Business Rocks 2016, which attracted more than 2,000 delegates from the technology and digital sectors.

Speaking today to BusinessCloud, Fletcher said: “It’s a real shame other people were not able to support the event. I never wanted to get into the events business. It was a one-off because I wanted to see Steve Wozniak come to the city.

“It would only have been viable in 2017 if they’d been able to secure a significant investor. Jonny worked really hard. It’s a shame for him.”

The Business Rocks website currently says it’s “down for maintenance”.

BELOW: Flick through the Q1 2017 edition of BusinessCloud's interactive digital magazine

E-edition cover