The Spirit of Speyside events team has announced that its trio of popular festivals will return in 2020 for what will be its biggest celebration yet.
· Whisky Festival: 29 April – 4 May, venues across Speyside tickets on sale at noon on 12 February
· Gin Experience: 10-12 July, venue to be announced
· Distilled: 28-29 August, Elgin Town Hall
Last year the Spirit of Speyside whisky, gin and food and drink celebrations welcomed several thousand local and international visitors to the region.
Whisky tourism is currently at an all time high, with industry figures showing that Scotland’s distilleries recently welcomed over 2 million visitors for the first time (SWA) and that three in five visitors to Speyside are drawn to the region by its whisky provenance.
The flagship event, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will feature over 700 ticketed whisky-themed activities with the full six-day programme being announced next month. The unrivalled range of events will include something for everyone, appealing to the whisky novice, the budding master blender or those simply interested in learning more about Scoland’s national drink; this year’s programme will include behind the scenes distillery tours, food pairing masterclasses right through to lively music events.
Following a successful launch last year, the new Spirit of Speyside Gin Experience will return to the Speyside region to celebrate its growing number of local gin producers. Visitors will be able to try new expressions, explore innovative cocktails with top bartenders and enjoy a variety of street food.
At a time when gin sales at home and abroad are now worth more than £2 billion for the UK (WSTA 2019), and with Scotland producing over 70% of this with several gin producing distilleries in Speyside, the summer Gin Experience provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this spirit.
Spirit of Speyside: Distilled, will bring the region’s world-leading drinks producers together under one roof at Elgin Town Hall. Whether it’s rubbing shoulders with master blenders, taking part in intimate masterclasses or feasting on great local produce, visitors will be immersed in Speyside’s world-famous food and drink larder.
Lauren Mustard, events coordinator at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: ‘Spirit of Speyside’s trio of drinks festivals will return this year in what will be our most significant celebrations yet, letting visitors experience first hand why Speyside is the global epicentre of distilling.
‘The majority of Speyside’s tourists are drawn here by its whisky, but with the increase in gin production and Speyside’s larder becoming widely celebrated, our revered food and drink offering is becoming a major draw which is great to showcase and celebrate through our three festivals.
‘In addition to our flagship whisky festival, 2020 will also see the return of the Gin Experience and Distilled, a showcase of Speyside’s range of spirits. We look forward to welcoming visitors from across Scotland, as well as from across the globe, to enjoy the very best of Scotland in Speyside.’
First launched in 1999, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has become an iconic event in the whisky calendar appealing to both the whisky curious and connoisseurs in a region that has become one of the fastest growing tourist destinations. As well as being home to the highest concentration of distilleries of all whisky regions in the world, Speyside also produces the largest volume of whisky, as well as an increasingly wide range of spirits including gin.