National Whisky Festival joins The Spree festival in Paisley

The National Whisky Festival will take place at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 13 October and will see two sessions of drams, masterclasses, food, whisky related arts, crafts and a fantastic programme of live music. It joins The Spree festival, one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural calendar and takes place in various venues around the town from 12 to 20 October.

The National Whisky Festival sessions will start at Paisley Town Hall from 12pm – 3.30pm and 4.15pm – 7.45pm and by purchasing a ticket whisky lovers will be able to enjoy entrance to one of the 3.5-hour sessions and access to over 50 whiskies on the tasting floor.

Exhibitors have been announced as:

Benromach Whisky – Distell Group (Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky + Black Bottle + Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky + Deanston Single Malt Scotch Whisky + Ledaig) – Loch Lomond Whiskies – Glen Scotia – Arran Whisky – Paul John Whisky – Wolfburn Whisky – Loch Fyne Whiskies – The Glenturret – Fraiser of Scotland – Uncle Nearest – The Clydeside Distillery – Hen of the Woods – Konrad Borkowski Photography – Mackmyra Svensk Whisky – Ovenbird Coffee Roasters – The NEAT Glass – Makar Glasgow Gin – Babu Bombay Street Kitchen – Hawkhead Kitchen – Reza Wood Designs – Annie D’s Scottish Confectionery.

Colin Campbell, National Whisky Festival organiser, said: “The National Whisky Festival is a combined celebration of the best of Scottish culture and our national drink.

“The event at Paisley Town Hall will see a whole host of exhibitors and distilleries in attendance, each carefully considered to provide the most enjoyable experience of whisky tasting and entertainment on the day.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the festival to Paisley as part of The Spree Festival 2018 for a brilliant day of drams, delicious food and thrilling live music.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the National Whisky Festival to Paisley as part of this year’s Spree Festival.
“The Spree Festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural events calendar and has continued to go from strength to strength as it enters its seventh year.

“Hosting an event such as the National Whisky Festival shows Paisley’s ability to host large-scale events and we can’t wait to welcome visitors from all over to Paisley Town Hall to enjoy a celebration of whisky and the best of Scottish culture.”

Visitors to the festival will also be able to enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and street food vendors, a craft beer bar and an on-site bottle shop provided by the Good Spirits Company.

Elsewhere, Motown legends Martha Reeves and the Vandellas head-up a stellar bill of acts that will play The Spree Festival. The festival of music, comedy, theatre and arts – now in its seventh year – will take place between the 12 and 20 October and will welcome Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, famous for tracks such as Dancing in the Street, Jimmy Mack and Heatwave, to Paisley Town Hall alongside the London African Gospel Choir who will perform Paul Simon’s Graceland on 20 October.

Paisley returns to its punk roots by welcoming the Gang of Four to the Spiegeltent in the town centre (19 Oct) bringing their unique mix of stripped-down punk rock, funk and dub.

Renfrewshire Leisure have programmed a number of shows for the festival including favourites Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (20 Oct) and Gaelic singer and ‘the Bard’ from SonyStarz Outlander, Gillebrìde MacMillan and friends who will perform compositions from Donald MacIntyre ‘The Paisley Bard’ at Paisley Arts Centre (18 Oct).

The famous Spiegeltent will also host electronic music legends and ambient house pioneers The Orb (15 Oct) and former Kraftwerk member and German musician, Wolfgang Flür (13 Oct).

There will be a real eclectic feel to the Spiegeltent bill this year with Vieux Farka Touré (16 Oct), described as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara’ and son of the Grammy-winning Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, alt-country and Americana group, The Wandering Hearts (14 Oct), rock bands The Leisure Society and Duke Special (17 Oct), Scots super group Big Minds featuring members of Simple Minds and Big Country (18 Oct), and a fantastic double-bill with Traceyanne & Danny (ex-Camera Obscura) and The Pastels (13 Oct).

The popular Comedy Night will return to the tent with Des Clarke, Janey Godley and Stuart Mitchell (12 Oct) and the revelry continues with The Spree Ceilidh (12 & 19 Oct) which has the added bonus of being a free event.

The Wee Spree will also be back as part of the festival with plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained during the October holidays. Highlights include a musical fun day hosted by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an exciting and unusual tour around Paisley with the National Theatre of Scotland supported by a soundtrack from local choirs. A full programme for The Wee Spree is available on The Spree website.

Tickets are on sale here.