A new main sponsor has been secured for the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, which takes place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June in Portsoy. Glenglassaugh Distillery, which produces the iconic Highland coastal spirit, is nestled on the shore of Sandend Bay, just two miles from Portsoy, has pledged its support for the event for the next two years.

The festival, which marks its 31st anniversary this year, welcomes a flotilla of heritage vessels for a weekend of live music and dance, Scottish food and drink and age-old crafts, celebrating the north east’s nautical past.

David Urquhart, chairman of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival said: “Securing this sponsorship commitment from Glenglassaugh, for the next two years, is excellent news. Glenglassaugh came ‘on board’ last year as our maritime sponsor, which enabled us to bring back Reaper, a 120 year old Fifie from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Fife, and attract new vessels to take part in the event.

“Continuing this relationship with the team, as our main sponsor for 2024 and 2025, will allow us to proceed with our plans to enhance and diversify the festival programme. We have added a new Coastal Crafts area, showcasing a variety of local, artisan crafters and we aim to deliver more ‘on the water’ activities during the weekend. The festival is a feast for the senses where you can see the finest traditional sailing craft, hear a great line-up of live music and enjoy a taste of Portsoy, with a dram of Glenglassaugh’s superb coastal single malts, paired with some delicious Scottish food and drink.”

17th century Fifie herring drifter Reaper, will make the journey from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife again this year, along with White Wing, a 33ft Baldie. Setting sail from Wick in Caithness will be 19th century Fifie and festival favourite, the Isabella Fortuna. Tickets for the festival are now available to buy on the website www.stbfportsoy.org, and entry is discounted when purchasing tickets online.

Since the first stones were laid in 1875, Glenglassaugh Distillery has seen many changes over the years and for over two decades a hidden gem in Scotland’s rugged north east lay silent. In 2008 Glenglassaugh Distillery was awakened from its slumber and the iconic Highland coastal spirit witnessed a reawakening with a new portfolio released in June 2023. Shaped by the influences of land and sea, the lush vibrant spirit has been gently matured in the distillery’s coastal warehouses overlooking the rolling surf of Sandend Bay.

Stewart Buchanan, Global Brand Ambassador Glenglassaugh Distillery, said: “Glenglassaugh’s spirit is, and always has been, inspired by the truly unique coastal location on the rugged north east, where our warehouses stand against the elements. This is a truly fitting partnership, not least as one of our releases is named Portsoy after the distillery’s neighbouring seaside town as well as being the home of our founder James Moir, a local businessman and Portsoy Harbour Committee who established the distillery in 1875.

“As headline sponsor of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival I hope we can spread the Highland coastal spirit and help the north east to raise a dram to the hugely anticipated annual event, now in its 31st year.”

Celtic rock band, Skipinnish will kick off the festival weekend on Friday 21st June as headline act for the Big Gig on the Back Green. Skipinnish has spent the last year touring the UK and across Europe, playing to sell-out crowds and appearing at some of Britain’s biggest music festivals. The band celebrates their 25th Anniversary with two major concerts at Bught Park Inverness and Edinburgh Castle. As well as these flagship shows, the band will perform at a select number of smaller events in 2024 chosen by the band for special reasons. The maritime theme of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival made it a very appropriate event for Skipinnish to choose Portsoy as one of these exclusive gigs of their 25th year.

Fans can see Skipinnish perform their hits Alive, Last of the Hunters, Walking on the Waves and The Island, which all hit the top spot in the world download charts, as tickets are on sale now from the festival website www.stbfportsoy.org for £38. This is a licensed event for over 18s only.

Thanks to festival sponsors Event Scotland, Puffin Pellets, Hamlyns of Scotland Oatmeal, Portsoy Thrift Shop, Portsoy 75 Club, Urquhart Joinery Services, Ocean Winds Moray West, Camwater, Davidson Reid Auctions and Gray Composting Services Ltd.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival was first held in 1993 as an event to celebrate the tercentenary of Portsoy’s old harbour. Since then, it has been firmly anchored in the town’s calendar, taking place annually each summer and attracting thousands of visitors from across the region, and further afield. The festival is set around Portsoy’s 17th Century harbour and is run by Portsoy Community Enterprise which also manages Portsoy Links Caravan Park, The Sail Loft Bunkhouse, The Salmon Bothy and The Boatshed. For more information visit www.stbfportsoy.org or on social media at @STBFPortsoy #ahoyportsoy.

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