May already and for many this is the month they have been looking forward to all year, and some even longer. The last week of May is traditionally the time for the Islay Festival of Music and Malt and this year is no different. The festival will start on the 25th of May until the 2nd of June. Below is a list of the most important events:
Friday 25th May
- The festival kicks off with a Grand Concert in Bowmore Village Hall. Starting 8pm - 11pm
Saturday 26th May
- Clootie Dumpling Ceilidh at Portnahaven Hall with Islay's Accordion and Fiddle Band and local singers.
- Lagavulin Day: distillery tours, masterclass tastings, warehouse experiences and much more.
- Fishing Competitions. Earlier competitions are on the 12th and 19th of May.
Sunday 27th May
- Disco at the Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen
- Open bowling Competition, Bridgend. Starts 2pm.
- Bruichladdich Open Day with sunshine, masterclasses, stalls, distillery and bottling hall tours and the courtyard ceilidh featuring Robin Laing, Islay Pipe Band, Skerryvore and many more.
- Malting tours at Port Ellen Maltings
- Happy 18th Birthday Friends of Laphroaig.
Monday 28th May
- Whisky Tasting Evening and Ceilidh at the Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen from 8pm
- Caol Ila Day: Distillery tours, maturation experiences, Justin Ruthven-Tyers and music.
Tuesday 29th May
- Folk Night at Lagavulin Distillery Reception Centre
- Laphroaig Open Day: Distillery tours, whisky walks and masterclasses.
Wednesday 30th May
- Evening of traditional entertainment at the Gaelic College, Bowmore
- RSPB Gruinart. There will be a corncrake walk at 7pm, followed by a wee dram
- Bowmore Distillery Day: Masterclasses, distillery tours, whisky and ale tasting and live music throughout the day with Skerryvore, Islay Pipe Band and others.
- Islay Ales Open Day: Free Brewery Tours, Beer Tent, BBQ by Islay Canoe Club and Live music from 2.00pm.
Thursday 31st May
- Liz Lochhead National Poet will set the scene at Laphroaig Distillery Hall.
- Isle of Jura Distillery open day
- Kilchoman Distillery open day: Islay pipe band and local musicians, BBQ and bar and distillery tours.
Friday 1st June
- Big Gig. Open Air at Laphroaig Distillery Courtyard, featuring ABBA Tribute Band with support.
- Bunnahabhain Open Day: Distillery tours, mini highland games and musical entertainment.
Saturday 2nd June
- The Final Fling at the Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen
- Ardbeg Open Day: Islay-lympics: Beat the Beastie, Stack Attack, Sheep Tossing and Bog Snorkelling to name a few.
The 2013 Islay Festival will run from 24th May 2013 until 1st June 2013