Spirit of Speyside Festival to go virtual this spring - with in-person event moved to November

Whisky fans can enjoy the world-famous Spirit of Speyside Festival online this spring, as the in-person event is moved to later in 2021.

Published 28th Jan 2021
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The Spirit of Speyside festival will be a virtual event this spring, with the in-person event rescheduled to November.

The team behind the hugely popular festival confirmed that the online event will bring together some of the region’s most loved distilleries and whisky makers in April.

With a full programme to be announced in the coming weeks, events confirmed so far include a tour of one of Scotland’s newest and most contemporary distilleries, Dalmunach Distillery, from master distiller, Alan Winchester; an exploration of Benriach’s World of Flavour and new portfolio with global brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan and a whistle stop virtual tasting tour of Malt Whisky Country with The Malt Whisky Trail.

Festival organisers are hopeful that the event, which would have been celebrating its 21st year in April, will be able to go ahead in person on 3 - 8 November 2021 providing it is safe for everyone to travel at that time, based on Scottish Government advice.

The decision to postpone original plans for the 2021 whisky festival reflects the quickly-evolving situation as a result of the new variant of the Covid-19 virus and current recommendations from the Scottish Government to restrict public gatherings and travel as a preventative measure.

James Campbell, Chairman at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said: "Given whisky lovers won’t be able to come to Speyside for our annual festival this April, we have decided to take the festival to them until it is safe for visitors to return to Malt Whisky Country hopefully later in the year.

"We can’t wait to welcome new and returning visitors from the UK and further afield to this beautiful part of the world.

"In the meantime, we hope that our online programme of events in April will lift everyone’s spirits and give people a taste of what to expect from the festival in November. We will then revert back to our traditional date in 2022."

The full programme of Spirit of Speyside virtual events will be listed on the festival's website and will be available for preview on 11th March 2021. Tickets will go on sale online on 16th March 2021.

The move to go virtual comes just over a month after organisers confirmed the 2021 event would go ahead after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the cornavirus pandemic.

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In normal times the festival attracts whisky fans from all over the world and provides the ultimate opportunity for travellers, whisky lovers, outdoor activity enthusiasts or the local community to explore, taste and learn about the world-famous Speyside region.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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