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Islay Festival 2017 Ardbeg Day

That's the festival over for this year already and fortunately the ferry problems have been solved, what a relief! We haven't been to as many events/distilleries as I had planned earlier, sometimes work and life gets in the way as was the case this week. We did however manage to visit Ardbeg today, it's one of our favourites, and not least because of these delicious Arbroath Smokies. The atmosphere was very nice today with good music and many familiar faces including a lot of locals. I had a feeling it was a lot busier than last year!

Gus Newman took folk out on the Sea Explorer, which is his very fast RIB, and there were plenty of excellent drams too including the new Ardbeg Kelpie! It started off a bit damp in the morning, there was even a thundery shower, but when the sun came out around noon it was glorious. We even saw an otter eating a fish, no not a Smokie, in front of warehouse one. How cool is that? It has been a very busy week for many on the island and from next week onwards it's back to normality. See you all next year when the festival will be held from Friday 25th of May to Saturday the 2nd of June. Below is a photo impression of this years Ardbeg Day. Continue reading....

One Ferry Islay Service due to Breakdown

Due to a technical issue with the bow ramp, the following MV Hebridean Isles sailings are cancelled for today, Friday 2nd of June:

07:00 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Ellen
09:45 sailing from Port Ellen to Kennacraig
13:00 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Askaig
15:30 sailing from Port Askaig to Kennacraig
18:00 sailing from Kennacraig to Port Askaig

Calmac has and still is contacting all affected passengers in order to arrange transfer to alternate sailings.

Due to this technical issue with MV Hebridean Isles the following timetable will operate Saturday 3rd June: Continue reading...

Islay Festival Bruichladdich Open Day

The Sunday was worthy to its name as, and it's a tradition by now, the sun came out during Bruichladdich Open Day. I can't think of a Laddie Open Day without sunshine to be honest. Anyway, it was another great event visited by many folk from near and far. According to someone from Bruichladdich it was the busiest open day in history and it added to the fantastic atmosphere. The crowds were not packed in the courtyard but spread across quite a large area which made it quite pleasant. The music was provided by Tide Lines, see my post yesterday, the Celtic Salsa Band and the Coaltown Daisies. Just after 3pm Ella Edgars Dancers gave a smashing performance and included were the youngest dancers with a lovely display. Well done Ella! Just before the dancers came on stage Duncan McGillivray was put in the spotlights and he received a great applause from the audience, followed by a big round of applause for Ella Edgar. She is still going from strength to strength with her Highland Dancers. Below is my photo impression of this years Bruichladdich Open Day.


Happy crowd in the yard


Islay Pipe Band


Smiling faces all around

Continue to more images of Bruichladdich Open Day

Islay Festival Start and Lagavulin Open Day

The 2017 edition of the Islay Festival of Music and Malt is on its way and it's very noticeable too on the island. Many folk from all over the world have arrived on Islay, many of them are return visitors. Accommodations are fully booked and the campsite at Port Mor looks as if there's not a single space left. What a comparison to a week ago. Bowmore was crowded too with hardly a parking space to find and many folk were queueing at Bowmore distillery to get their hands on a special limited festival bottling. Not sure when the queue started but it was very early morning for some, perhaps even night?

The first Saturday of the Islay Festival is traditionally Lagavulin Open day and it started off warm and humid. Last year Lagavulin celebrated their 200th anniversary which attracted many visitors to the south of Islay. This year was a bit quieter, better organised traffic wise and the atmosphere was just as pleasant as last year, not at the least due to a magnificent new band called "Tide Lines" with lead singer Robert Robertson, former band member and lead singer of Skipinnish. Various art stalls, a nice demonstration by the coopers, the burger tent, ice cream van, sea food shack and of course Lagavulin's excellent drams were the ingredients for a good time. The weather was kind as well as it stayed dry and warm for most of the day. Below are some impressions of this year's start of the Islay Festival and Lagavulin Open Day. Continue reading...

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