Support the Islay community

Fèis Ìle is about more than whisky. It’s a celebration of our island’s history, our culture and the people who live here. Home to just over 3,000 people, the festival sustains our heritage and invites others to sample our way of life.

The festival was born in 1984, from a committee set up to help preserve the Gaelic language and culture on the island. Initially the Gaelic Drama Festival, it soon became known as Fèis Ìle (or Islay festival). And with the addition of live music, walks, ceilidhs and plenty of whisky, it became a key date in the Islay calendar.

In 2000, the island’s distilleries got more involved and started their now famous open days. Since then, the festival has grown and grown. Still run exclusively by volunteers, almost everyone on the island plays their part in what has become a big operation.

Each summer, the festival draws upward of 10,000 visitors to Islay – a crucial boost for the island’s economy. But the necessary cancellation of this year’s event means no visitors. This economic loss affects the funding we could use to maintain the island’s heritage.

The Finlaggan Walkway Project

The Finlaggan Trust are looking to build a new walkway that will replace the current structure and allow continued access to the historic site of Finlaggan, the ancient seat of the MacDonalds, Gaelic Lords of the Isles.

The Finlaggan Trust, maintains and promotes Finlaggan and the legacy of the Lordship, with a pedestrian access to the historic site via a 107m wooden walkway, and provides a valuable information centre. The Finlaggan walkway (now fourteen years old) shows significant damage from the harsh elements and use by visitors. Help us support the build for a new longer-lasting structure, without which this important heritage site for Islay would be inaccessible.

Support Finlaggan now