There are many events on Islay in the period ahead that will attract many visitors to the island. I know I've written before that it's amazing to see how many events are organised on Islay each year. With the upcoming Islay Walk week you can call April the start of the Islay Festival Season. I thought it would be a good idea to spend a blog post on the upcoming events this year, so you can't complain afterwards that you didn't know! So what's on offer in the period ahead....
We start this coming Saturday, 16th of April, when the Islay Walk Week kicks off and finishes with the last walk on Friday 22 Apr 2011. For more information and a downloadable PDF programme visit this link
Shortly after the walkers have left, the island will prepare itself for the more than thousand visitors that will occupy the island for the annual Feis Ile, the Islay festival of Malt and Music. The Islay Festival 2011 will be held from the 21st May to the 28th May. The full programme is available on www.theislayfestival.co.uk and the distillery programme is as follows: Saturday 21st May Lagavulin, Sunday Bruichladdich and Port Ellen Maltings, Monday Caol Ila, Tuesday Laphroaig, Wednesday Bowmore and Islay Ales, Thursday Isle of Jura and Kilchoman, Friday Bunnahabhain, Saturday 28th May Ardbeg Distillery. Continue reading....
Not long after the whisky crowds have left the island the Beach Rugby crowds will arrive on the island. This year the Islay Beach Rugby Tournament will be held on Saturday the 11th of June and will most likely, and hopefully, be another beautiful sunny day on White Hart Beach at Port Ellen. This year 32 teams have been invited to join and to "Eat Sand"
Summer will start with the Cantilena Summer Festival on July 3rd to July 8th inclusive. For a full list of events and venues have a look at the 2011 programme. If classical music is not your thing you might want to wait for a unique event that is taking place a week later, on the 12th to the 21st of July when Tall Ships arrive in Port Ellen as part of the Tall Ships Races 2011
If you're not tired yet of all the festivals here's a heads up for the remaining festivals this year. First of all there is the Tope Fishing Festival, dates have yet to be determined. Then there is the Islay Book festival on September 3rd â€“ 4th and last but not least the Islay Jazz Festival which will be held from the 16th to the 18th of September.
It's quite an impressive list and if you need some more information or links to all the sites please have a look at the Islay Events page. Below is a video of the 2010 Islay Jazz Festival, a nice preview to what you can expect at the last Islay event of 2011.