The 2021 edition of Islay’s Feis Ile festival will be held online this year due to uncertainty created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s festival was also cancelled because of the coronavirus.
The Feis Ile festival organizers took to Facebook to share the news that they would be canceling the 2021 edition of the event:
With deep regret we announce that this year’s festival is cancelled.
We have discussed this with our distillery partners, and we have come to this decision together. We know you love the Fèis, and know many of you have questions, so we’d like to explain why we’ve made this decision now.
1. Large events
People make the Fèis, and people make Islay what it is – keeping everyone safe is our top priority. Even if travel to Islay is allowed, the ceilidhs, tastings and large events that make the Fèis what it is, will not be able to take place.
2. Why not postpone?
Our distillery partners are keen to keep to our May dates. Also, with the uncertainty of this pandemic, large events may still not be possible later in the year.
By now the Fèis Committee would usually have arranged and sold out all of our events, and the distilleries would have everything in place. With the current situation, we can’t plan ahead as we don’t know what Government guidelines might be. We also need to allow for the fact that people need to be able to make their plans to travel and stay.
4. Can we still come to Islay during Fèis week?
Our best advice is to follow what is happening with Government Guidelines and travel restrictions. Islay and its businesses would love to welcome you back when restrictions allow.
5. Can we come and get our festival bottles?
Bottle sales will likely be online only again this year. We know this worked brilliantly for some of you, and not so well for others, but we simply can’t risk the large queues and gatherings of people. Distilleries will confirm details closer to the time.
5. Will you be holding a virtual festival?
Yes. And we are already planning for it to be bigger, better and more interactive than ever. We know it won’t replace the real thing, but we hope that you’ll be able to join us.
6. What about 2022?
The dates for the 2022 festival are from Friday the 27th of May to Saturday the 4th of June.
7. What about tickets I had saved over from last year?
Please be patient, we will be in touch soon about refunds, or transferring to 2022.
Finally, we know you won’t like hearing this news. We don’t like saying it. But please just keep Islay in your hearts for a little longer: hold on to the love of the island, the music, the whisky and the company, and the embraces when we see you again will be all the sweeter.
Feis Ile 2021 will now be a virtual festival held on the same days the original event was expected to take place, May 28 to June 5.