Tiree riding crest of wave with awards
A SMALL island music festival almost wrecked by storms this summer has blown away the opposition to win a major tourism award.
During this year’s Tiree Music Festival, more than 1,000 people had to be evacuated from the site because of strong winds.
A huge response from the community and local businesses helped find shelter for festival-goers in schools, the island airport and people’s homes so the event was able to continue.
The festival, which attracted a sell- out 1,700 audience – more than three times the island population – has been voted Best Cultural Event or Festival at the prestigious annual Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA).
And in a double success for the island, the Tiree Wave Classic windsurfing event also won HITA’s new Best Sporting Event category,
The awards were presented on Friday night by tourism minister Fergus Ewing MSP at a ceremony in the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.
In all, 15 tourism businesses and individuals were crowned winners at the event, which was hosted by celebrity chef Tony Singh.
The HITA judges said of the festival: ‘The tiny, seemingly inaccessible isle of Tiree has overcome local constraints to build its annual music festival into an incredible, cultural event which brings economic benefits to the community, highlights traditional and contemporary music and makes imaginative use of sponsorship. It is a worthy winner that has enhanced the overall visitor experience.
‘This year the festival faced unprecedented weather conditions which could have forced it to be abandoned. However, a truly remarkable effort by the organisers and the island community ensured it not just recovered but flourished in the following days.’
Tiree Wave Classic is the longest running professional windsurfing event in the world. Founded in 1986, it showcases the UK’s best windsurfing talent, ranging from juniors to World Cup professional windsurfers.
AWARD WINNERS: Tiree Music Festival organisers pick up the much coveted event of the year award.