Fèis Ìle 2023: Dates and ticket info as the music and malt festival returns to Islay

This month sees the return of the ever-popular Islay festival.

Published 2nd May 2023
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The Islay festival, Fèis Ìle is back for 2023. Here's everything you need to know.

When is Fèis Ìle 2023?

Fèis Ìle is set to run from 26 May to 3 June 2023.

What to expect from Fèis Ìle

This isn’t by any means a whisky-only festival - it’s a celebration of the island with music, dance, storytelling and a few whiskies. For those who are visiting to see the distilleries, the festival is arranged so that each of the main distilleries have their own day of events, which usually include tours and tastings as well as live music.

Over the course of the ten days, each distillery has a day where they host tours and tastings, with a range of live music taking place across Islay.

Highlights usually always include Ardbeg Day and Bunnahabhain Day, which traditionally take place on the first Sunday and last Saturday.

Distillery days are are follows:

  • Saturday 27 May - Lagavulin
  • Sunday 28 May - Bruichladdich
  • Monday 29 May - Caol Ila
  • Tuesday 30 May - Laphroaig
  • Wednesday 31 May - Bowmore
  • Thursday 1 June - Ardnahoe
  • Friday 2 June - Kilchoman
  • Saturday 3 June - Ardbeg

While all events are popular, fans go wild for Bruichladdich day and Ardbeg day making this a whisky fuelled week for those who have sorted out travel and accommodation.

For anyone not into whisky, there’s events for beer, gin and rum as well as cultural events that are well worth attending. Highlights from last year include the Mist'ry Bus Tour, ceildhs and everything but whisky festival at The Machrie.

When are tickets on sale?

Tickets are available for Fèis Ìle events, which are on sale now.

Keep an eye on Fèis Ìle social media accounts, as well as those of your favourite Islay distilleries for updates.

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Fèis Ìle
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Fèis Ìle 2023 festival bottlings

These are always extremely popular, with more information available from the distilleries but so far we know that Caol Ila will be selling a Feis Ile 2023 13 year old whisky that has been matured in Pedro Ximénez / Oloroso seasoned butts (£185).

The Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2023 bottling is 14-Year-Old whisky matured in a balanced combination of American and European Oak and, for the first time, finished in Armagnac casks (£220).

Ardbeg will released a limited edition single malt whisky, Heavy Vapours, in time for Ardbeg Day. For the first time ever at Ardbeg, its whisky has been distilled without a purifier, which is responsible for Ardbeg’s balance between extreme peat and floral fruitiness, making Heavy Vapours the most full-blown Ardbeg.

It will be available to purchase online for £120 23 May.

What is Fèis Ìle?

Established almost 30 years ago, the festival of music and malt draws visitors from across the globe to the shores of the island each year to experience its community, culture, and its world-renowned whisky.

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Fèis Ìle, which was initially staged to revive the island’s traditional Gaelic culture, has grown to become the major showcase for Islay’s food and drink operators.

Organised by a committee of volunteers and the island’s distilleries, the Fèis has recorded attendances of 9000 in recent years, three times its population.

Find out more about Fèis Ìle here.

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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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