The story behind the scenes
Held annually during the first long weekend in May, the Festival invites visitors to celebrate Scotland’s national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging programme of whisky-inspired events – some educational, all of them fun.
Since its inception in 1999, the Festival has developed close links with many Speyside businesses and communities as everyone works together to provide an ever-improving range of events, facilities and services for local people and the increasing flow of international visitors.
The Festival operates through a Board of Directors selected to provide expertise in key areas of the whisky industry, culture and heritage, tourism, and hospitality.
Becoming a member of the Festival offers your business or organisation the chance to participate fully in the Festival, enjoy the benefits of membership and be part of a truly unique and rapidly growing international event. A modest membership fee of £52.50 per annum gives you an entry listing on the website, and represents excellent value for money.
With an independent Chairman, the Directors work on a purely voluntary basis to drive the Festival forward.
- Chairman - James Campbell, Partner Johnston & Carmichael
- Company Secretary – James Macpherson, Special Projects Manager, Gordon & MacPhail.
- Penny Ellis, Proprietor, Knockomie Hotel, Forres
- Alan Rankin, Chief Executive, Cairngorms Business Partnership
- Eric Walker, Diageo Senior Site Manager - Speyside West Group
- Stuart Watts, Dufftown Site Leader, William Grant & Sons
- Ian Urquhart, Director Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin, Chairman, Johnstons of Elgin
- Peter Prentice, Heritage Director, Chivas Brothers
Now in it's 14th year, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is financed via public sector funding and private partnerships, which assist with the operating and marketing costs. This enables the Festival to support event providers and local businesses, all of whom benefit from the increase in visitors. The Festival stages some events independently – the Opening dinner, the Whisky Awards, and the Whisky School.
In addition to financial support from the public and private sector, the Festival is grateful for a wide range of in kind support from a number of local businesses and organisations.
Allan Adam, Andrew Gransden, Brenda Cooper, Chivas Brothers Ltd, Dave Broom, David Newland, Diageo PLC, Ed Dodson, Elizabeth Oliver, Glen Grant Distillery, Glenfarclas Distillery, Glenfiddich Distillery, Graeme McHardy, Graham Vaughan, Gunnel Palmér, Heather Urquhart, John Paul, Ken Grant, Mark Williamson, Martin Grace, Northern Scot, Philip Lewis, Robert Ransom, Steve Smith, The Malt Project, Tom Keir, Tony Gorzkowski, Zoe Grice.