The world’s first online whisky festival is returning next month to raise funds for a Scottish cancer charity.
Hosted by Inverness-based whisky distillery Tomatin, the second lockdown whisky festival will go live on 9th May in support of Maggie’s Highlands.
Following the cancellation of whisky festivals around the world, Tomatin wanted to keep the festival season alive by inviting some of the best whisky producers in Scotland and further afield to band together to bring whisky directly to viewers’ homes.
This resulted in the first ever live virtual whisky festival which gained a huge worldwide audience of over 13,000 people in early April. It’s hoped the second event can beat that number.
Maggie’s, which provides free practical and emotional support to people living with cancer across the UK, is currently unable to see people face to face due to the nationwide lockdown, including at their Inverness centre which is close to the Tomatin distillery.
Instead, the charity’s experts are supporting people virtually as they experience the added stress and anxiety of living with cancer, plus changes and delays to treatment.
Last week, Maggie’s Highlands annual golf day, which is sponsored by Tomatin and usually raises £60,000 for the centre in only one day, had to be cancelled amidst ongoing social distancing restrictions.
To be able to continue to support those with cancer through this unprecedented and challenging time they need extra fundraising help, which is where Tomatin’s second lockdown whisky festival comes in.
Jennifer Masson, Head of Brand for Tomatin Single Malt commented: “From the moment we registered the incredible levels of interest in our inaugural Lockdown Whisky Festival earlier this month, we knew we wanted to recreate that special event again for a second edition.
“We were so disappointed to not be able to support Maggie’s Highlands with their golf day this year, which unfortunately had to be cancelled. They require over half a million pounds a year in donations to operate so it really was a no-brainer when it came to who we would support, and we hope this event is able to make a positive difference to them, as well as providing entertainment to whisky fans.”
Andrew Benjamin, Centre Manager of Maggie’s Highlands, added: “We feel very lucky that, even with everyone’s attention turned to other issues, Tomatin and other whisky brands have chosen to continue to show support. It’s very much appreciated and it’ll go a long way to helping us to support people with cancer and their families over this difficult time.
“I’m no whisky expert, but I will be taking part in a masterclass with the help of Tomatin’s brand ambassador,– if nothing else, it’ll be worth tuning in to witness that!”
A number of whisky brands have partnered with Tomatin and Aqvavitae to support the festival, inculding Blanton’s, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Douglas Laing, Glengoyne, Mackmyra, Old Pulteney, Raasay, and Tamdhu.
The event is free to attend but viewers will be able to make a donation to Maggie’s Highlands, and all donations will be entered into a competition to win whisky prizes.
The Lockdown Whisky Festival will begin streaming from 2-5pm BST on 9th May on the Tomatin Distillery YouTube channel.