Whisky isn’t the only iconic Scottish tradition that will be drawing people to Speyside over the next few weeks. In addition to drams galore, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will be filled with the sound of music from April 28 to May 2 as visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a whole host of one-of-a-kind musical events.
The jam-packed festival programme takes place over five days in various locations across the scenic Speyside region. People have the chance to ride the Whisky Line and find their dancing shoes to join a traditional Scottish ceilidh on a train, or find the perfect marriage of whisky and music with an event matching vintage whisky with vintage jazz.
Music features strongly on the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, which has almost 500 different events to choose from across five fun-filled days. In addition to music there’s also whisky tastings, distillery tours, food events and comedy, ensuring there is something for everyone.
An impressive line-up of acts has been scheduled, and there’s certainly no shortage of home grown talent performing throughout the Festival. The Fochabers Fiddlers will be supporting singer Shona Brown at the Spirit of Speyside Sessions on Saturday, April 30 at Fleming Hall in Aberlour, while local act Footerin’ Aboot will be the ceilidh band playing on the Keith – Dufftown Railway Line on 29 and 30 April.
Accordionist Sandy Brechin, fiddler Charlie McKerron – member of world renowned Celtic band Capercaillie – and vocalist Brian Ó’hEadhra will be performing their own unique and entertaining musical compositions on April 28 at The Drouthy Cobbler in Elgin and on April 29 at The Fleming Hall.
Music will be on the menu all day at The Malt Barn at Glenlivet Distillery Open Day on April 30. Visitors will be able to catch performances from Glasgow-based Scottish folk band, Barluath – including lead vocalist and BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2015 Finalist Ainsley Hamill, Footerin’ Aboot, and The Bicycle Thieves, who perform covers from across the decades.
The Craigellachie Hotel will be holdings its own DogFest – an event named after its popular Copper Dog bar that includes 10 different bands and a hog roast. The line-up includes The Whisky River Boat Band, The Copper Dogs, Chris Grant and Sons O The Soil and takes place on both the Friday and Saturday of the Festival from 5pm until midnight.
In addition to these highlights, there are daily music performances taking place at a huge number of Festival venues.
Festival manager Pery Zakeri says the feedback after music events at the Festival are always extremely positive, resulting in high demand for tickets.
She adds, “Putting whisky and music events together is a natural pairing in which visitors always love to get involved. To have such a talented selection of Scottish musicians playing at the Festival shows that not only are we celebrating Scotland’s national drink, but we’re honouring Scotland’s customs and traditions as a whole.
“The wide range of performers taking part is very much in keeping with our Festival theme of providing something for everyone. You don’t even have to be a fan of traditional music, as the huge of variety of music genres available throughout the Festival are sure to satisfy even the most specialist of tastes.
“Whisky drinkers are all different, so it’s important to offer a varied selection of music events for people to enjoy whilst still retaining an element of Scottish culture.”
There are a number of events during the Festival which incorporate the best of Scottish music, food and whisky, giving a true reflection of the values and heritage that lies behind the beautiful region of Speyside.
Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including music, are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com. The Festival is also active on social media – facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and on Instagram.