Glenfiddich Festival Experiment? What’s that you ask? Well, I’m about to tell you.
I was kindly invited along to this event that took place on Sunday 8th and Monday 9th September 2019 and I can safely say that it was one of the best experiences I have had. The whole experience from the get-go was incredible and I will forever have fond memories of my time spent there.
But before I go on and explain why, let’s tell you about Glenfiddich first!
About Glenfiddich Whisky Distillery
The event itself was hosted by Glenfiddich Whisky Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. This local distillery is a known master in its art and is one of the only single malt distilleries that is still entirely family-owned.
The word Glenfiddich comes from the Gaelic language and means ‘Valley of the Deer’ – very appropriate for a Scottish countryside town.
Over the years, Glenfiddich has become the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, really proving its place in the drinks industry.
About Glenfiddich Festival Experiment
For the past 3 years, Glenfiddich has held festivals, making this Festival Experiment #3. The whole event is a celebration and thank you to bartenders from around the country and for the first time this year, international guests also.
Its a two day festival with live music performances all evening, including amazing Scottish headline acts, an array of food stalls and of course, lots of whisky (and other drinks too!)
The layout is just like any festival I’ve been to and maybe even better and for its attendees, everything was free. From whisky tasting tents to glitter and pamper tents, anyone at the event could wander in and take up whichever activity they fancied.
Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Lineup
I’m going to begin with the festival music lineup because this is probably what excited me the most about the event when I saw the invite pop up in my inbox.
Throughout the day local bands and artists were playing amongst the various stages and tents. On Sunday, various acts such as Gordon James & The Power, Hyyts and Walt Disco performed during the afternoon in the Tipi Lounge which was exactly as it sounds but better. Think multiple tipis joined together to make a brilliant space with a bar, comfy sofas and fairy lights all around. Then if that wasn’t enough, you could also overlook the stunning view of Dufftown from a high.
The Main Stage was christened by Mark Thomson and Alex Walker, the Glenfiddich ambassadors, who gave a welcome speech to us all and let us know of the exciting weekend we had ahead. This was then shortly followed by Be Charlotte, Fatherson and then the headliner, Twin Atlantic! Twin Atlantic, if you don’t know but I’m sure you do, are a Glasgow rock band, who are very well known in the scene. Their performance was mesmerising. They had the whole tent up singing and the atmosphere was electric.
Sadly, we had to leave after Twin Atlantic but for everyone else the night continued at the Forest Stage with DJ sets until 1am.
On Monday, the antics continued for everyone other than myself – I’m not sure I’ll ever get over missing out on Monday due to work. It would have been a dream.
The day started with music from Fabs Latham and a Q&A with Brian Kinsman, the Glenfiddich Master Blender in the Tipi Lounge, followed by other acts such as Paul Pirie and Bongo Steve. I’d have loved to have sat in on the Q&A, I imagine a very interesting discussion was had.
In the evening entertainment kicked off in the Main Stage with The Ninth Wave, The Snuts and then only freaking Franz Ferdinand! I was a huge Franz Ferdinand fan when I was younger so for me, it was devastating not being able to go along on Monday to see them perform. From the videos I watched while sitting at home, however, their set seemed perfect. As I said, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over missing out.
Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Activities
Where do I begin? The festival really did have it all. If you wanted to go get your face painted in glitter, you could (which we did). If you wanted to go get your hair cut and beard trimmed, you could. If you wanted a massage, Glenfiddich had you sorted.
One of my favourites was the Silent Disco tent. I’d never taken part in a Silent Disco before but I had always seen others and I knew I had to give it a go. Pumping Indie anthems one minute then 80s songs the next, it was an absolute blast. At this point, we had made some festival friends and we were all jumping about all over the place, screaming our hearts out.
Another was the Whisky Tasting with Mark Thomson. Now, I had never been a whisky fan so I was a little hesitant going into the tent to sip several straight whiskies in a short period of time. But, Mark talked us through how to cleanse our palette and start to see beyond the fighting reaction our body has to the ethanol in the drink. After this and trying a good few Glenfiddich whiskies, I can now say I can appreciate whisky and being a Scot that makes me feel glad that I can finally respect our local drink. The whisky tasting was a brilliant experience and I won’t lie it was made even better knowing that I was in the same small tent as Jack McCann… a huge pinch me moment! I still can’t believe we were invited to the event as part of the same blogger/media group – my biggest blogging career opportunity I have had yet!
One that definitely would have been top of the list was the Meet & Greet with Franz Ferdinand. I had the chance to meet Franz Ferdinand?! What an experience that would’ve been. This festival is crazily exciting.
One activity I did get the pleasure to enjoy was the glitter tent where the girls were on hand to paint your face in glitter and jewels. This was a popular stand for sure!
That’s not all though – there was also a yoga class for attendees to take part in on Monday morning and coopering demos, as well as Glenfiddich distillery tours throughout the day. This is another activity I would’ve loved to have experience so I will be making a point of heading back to Glenfiddich soon to discover their distillery for myself.
Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Drinks
It wouldn’t be a festival without drink and it certainly wouldn’t be a Glenfddich festival without Glenfiddich.
During the weekend, there were drinks to suit everyone from Hendricks gin and tonic which was my drink of choice to craft beers.
The Glenfiddich choices obviously took up the majority of the drinks menu and for good reason. There were a selection of delicious-sounding cocktails with apt names for whisky lovers such as a Highland Mule, which was Glenfiddich Fire & Crane whisky with Fever-Tree Smoky Ginger Ale tonic and bitters and a Stag Colada, which consisted of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old whisky, Pina Colada syrup, fresh lime, pineapple juice, absinthe and soda.
We opted for the Covert Affair. The Covert Affair was a blend of Glenfiddich Project XX whisky, which I can tell you after sampling it at the whisky tasting, is a unique whisky that draws together the tastes of 20 whisky experts and combines them into one drink with maderia, raspberry eau de vie, sugar syrup, absinthe blanche and bitters. This fruity concoction has hints of smoke from the whisky flavours but a sweetness from the ingredients that work well as one. Would I have it again? Yes. Did I have it again at the festival? No. It’s a strong one, I’m not sure I would’ve coped with more than one on a Sunday evening before a day of work on Monday.
Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Food
We obviously cannot forget about the selection of food that was available at the festival. There were plenty of food vendors to choose from covering all basis of street food like pizza, burgers, macaroni and Asian food.
We were gifted tokens that allowed us to have 3 meals each day so even though we already had lunch before getting to the festival, we had to make the most of it. It’s all about getting that content. The negatives of being a blogger, am I right?
Ginger & Chilli
For our first meal, we decided on Ginger & Chilli which was a South Asian inspired food stall that served a menu full of food we were dying to try. It took us a bit of time to choose from the menu because of this reason but we settled on tasting the Sri Lankan Dahl and Kati Roll Taco.
The Sri Lankan Dahl was beautiful to put it in the simplest of terms. This spiced, lentil dish is a vegan-friendly must. The rich curry sauce with coconut, lentils and curry leaves is served with basmati rice, a fresh chapati, Jaipur slaw and a helping of chutney and toppings. I’d eat it again in a heartbeat!
Our second choice, the Kati Roll Taco, was just as delicious. This dish isn’t a taco as you know it. Instead, it is a paratha, an Indian flatbread, filled with lentil dahl or chicken curry (we had half & half), rice, lemon pickled red onions, Jaipur slaw and a selection of chutney and toppings again. Although very similar in ingredients, it was still a lovely dish alongside the Sri Lankan Dahl.
Next on our food encounters, we stumbled across two burger stands – one with mouth-watering beef burgers and one with southern fried chicken burgers.
Being the red meat fan I am, it was inevitable I went for a beef burger. Filled with fresh salad and cheese, the burger was delightful. Exactly what my drunken self needed to help me get through another solid stint of drinking until home time. The side of chips too were crispy and packed with flavour which was great – I hate bland chips.
Holly went for a southern-fried Asian burger, filled with all Asian slaw, spices and veg all in a brioche bun. Delicious.
The Mac & Cheese
It was gone 10.30pm, Twin Atlantic has just finished their incredible set, the night sky was pitch black and we realised we hadn’t had our third meal. Disaster! Well, actually it wasn’t because we went for these gorgeous macaroni and cheese dishes. Just look at them. My mouth is watering just looking at them.
I went for Italian Mac & Cheese which was their creamy macaroni covered in sundries tomatoes and a garlicky, pesto sauce with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan. Oh so good!
Holly went for a Haggis Mac & Cheese. Again, with their signature macaroni cheese topped with a hearty portion of haggis – perfect for a Scottish festival!
Our dishes went down an absolute treat to soak up our alcohol consumption before walking up for a day of work.
The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment #3 is one of the best experiences I’ve had. I love a good festival and this was a bloody good one. The music, the drinks, the company. Just amazing.
If I ever had the chance to go along again, I would be over the moon.
Have you ever been to Glenfiddich Distillery?
While you are here, why not check out my post about TrueOriGINS festival?