ONE OF THE world’s largest whisky festivals is not just about Moray and Speyside’s most famous product, according to organisers.
The Spirit of Speyside will be awash with fine whiskies – but also the sound of some great music between April 28 and May 2.
Locals and visitors have around 500 different events to choose from over the five days, during which an impressive line-up of acts will be performing. These include the Fochabers Fiddlers who are supporting Shona Brown for the ‘Spirit of Speyside Sessions’ on April 30 at the Fleming Hall in Aberlour.
The Keith to Dufftown rail line will provide an unusual backdrop to local act ‘Footerin’ Aboot’ as they play on 29 and 30 April, while Sandy Brechin, Charlie McKerron (from Capercaillie) and Brian Ó’hEadhra will provide a set of unique musical compositions at the Drouthy Cobbler in Elgin on April 28 and the Fleming Hall the following day.
Meanwhile the Craigellachie Hotel will host 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.
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, while Footerin’ Aboot, and The Bicycle Thieves, who perform covers from across the decades.
Throughout the festival there will be daily music performances throughout Moray and Speyside with festival manager Pery Zakeri commenting: “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.”
Tickets for all events in the 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme, including music, are available to buy now at www.spiritofspeyside.com.