Ticket sales for the 2018 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival have set new records, with almost 5,000 tickets valued at £154,000 being bought within 24 hours of them being released.
The early sales rush galvanises the festival’s reputation as one of the world’s leading whisky celebrations, with 116 events completely selling out within the first day of the tickets going on sale.
Records were shattered with an additional 797 tickets generating an extra £32,362 being sold, compared to last year’s record high for the 24 hour sales period.
The phenomenal demand has been driven from both home and abroad, with whisky lovers in the UK, USA and Germany the top three early-booking nations. The festival continues to attract global interest, with website browsers from across Europe and North America and also Vietnam, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Kazakhstan, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands.
Eager whisky lovers went into overdrive snapping up 1,058 tickets worth £46,000 in the first 10 minutes of them going live at 12 noon on Tuesday. The buying frenzy continued and within an hour 3,838 tickets had been sold and that figure rose to 4,982 with 24 hours.
With 520 events making up the 2018 festival, there are still plenty of tickets available and the chance to savour a range of themes, from nosings and tastings, to a ceilidh on board a train, whisky caching, craft events, quizzes and valuations.
Festival chairman James Campbell says, “The level of interest has astounded us; we did wonder if we could match the success of last year’s sales, but here we are again having surpassed it.
“Whisky lovers from all around the world have shown a real thirst for the 2018 offering, and in line with previous years the exclusive distillery tours have sold out first. Real whisky aficionados are always looking for very special experiences that are only available at the time of the Festival, so tours of distilleries not normally open to the public sold out very quickly.
“Festival fans realise they must get in early to get tickets for the activities they really want, and they’ve wasted no time this year. We’re fortunate to have partners who develop a rich and diverse programme of events that captures the imagination of the whisky-loving public. This is a great start for us and a reminder that our Festival is viewed as a must-attend event by whisky lovers all over the world.”
This year’s Festival runs from May 3-7 at venues across Speyside which is home to half of all Scotland’s distilleries and is the base for many high-profile international brands.
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, says, “The popularity of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has once again been confirmed by yet another record breaking opening 24 hours of ticket sales. With so many events, including behind-the-scenes tour of distilleries not normally open to the public, it is understandable why it is so popular all over the world.
“EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of the Festival, with Speyside providing the perfect stage to discover Scotland’s national drink.”
With behind-the-scenes tours at internationally renowned distilleries not usually open to the public, whisky tasting masterclasses, whisky and food pairing – not to mention traditional music, outdoors activities and heritage events – the Festival offers something for die-hard whisky fans and those who have never tried it before.
For further information and tickets visit www.spiritofspeyside.com. The Festival is also active on social media: facebook.com/WhiskyFestival and @spirit_speyside on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #dram18