Mu­sic and malt

The Oban Times - - NEWS - Hugh Smith, 4 Flora Street, Bow­more, Is­lay PA43 7JX. Tel: 01496 810 658

FÈIS ÌLE, the is­land’s an­nual fes­ti­val of mu­sic and malt, is fast ap­proach­ing – it kicks off on Fri­day May 26 and con­tin­ues un­til Satur­day June 3. This is the largest event in the is­land’s so­cial calendar and it has gone from strength to strength since it be­gan 31 years ago.

It at­tracts vis­i­tors from across the globe, and the is­land will be burst­ing at the seams, ac­com­mo­da­tion will be at a pre­mium and the lo­cal econ­omy will greatly ben­e­fit as a re­sult.

Among the firm favourites will be the clootie dumpling ceilidh at Bal­ly­grant, whisky nos­ing and en­su­ing ceilidh at Port Ellen and much folk singing at Ard­beg Dis­tillery.

Vis­it­ing per­form­ers will in­clude the Rowan Broth­ers, Tide Lines, the Play­boys, Ir­ish vo­cal­ist Hugo Duncan, piper Fred Mor­ri­son and mu­si­cian and au­thor Jess Smith.

A num­ber of lo­cal per­form­ers will also par­tic­i­pate in some of the fes­ti­val events and there will be classes in ceilidh danc­ing for those who want to hoof it in Highland style.

The Scotch Malt Whisky So­ci­ety hosts a gar­den party at Is­lay House Ho­tel, the Rare Malt Whisky Com­pany will marry malt, cheese and choco­late on two evenings in the former Port­na­haven school, and the Fin­lag­gan Trust’s open day will be sup­ported by the Vin­tage Malt Whisky Com­pany.

Mas­ter dis­tiller Jim MacEwan holds a whisky tast­ing ses­sion at Bal­ly­grant, and Dou­glas Laing and friends will tickle the seafood and whisky taste buds at var­i­ous venues in­clud­ing Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle.

The is­land’s eight dis­til­leries are brac­ing them­selves for the fèis in­va­sion and will pull out all the stops to cater for the hun­dreds who will at­tend their open days through­out the week.

Even the dis­tillery on neigh­bour­ing Jura is more than happy to join in the fes­tive fray as is Is­lay Ales in Is­lay House Square

Those who seek a break from the mu­sic and the malt can take part in fly-fish­ing com­pe­ti­tions on var­i­ous lo­cal lochs and can par­tic­i­pate in or spec­tate at bowl­ing matches at both Brid­gend or Port Ellen.

For more de­tailed fèis in­for­ma­tion con­tact: en­quiries@ is­lay fes­ti­val.com.

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