2015 Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.

Winners - Best Cultural Event or Festival - Tiree Music Festival (left to right) Daniel Gillespie, Kirstin Anderson (Chivas Brothers) and Stewart MacLennan.

Picture: Callum Mackay. Image No. 031183

TIREE CELEBRATES THE DOUBLE AT HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS

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The small festival hit by storms this summer has blown away the opposition to win a major tourism award.

During this year’s Tiree Music Festival more than 1,000 people had to be evacuated from the site because of strong winds. A huge response from the community and local businesses helped find shelter for festival-goers in schools, the island airport and people’s homes so the event was able to continue.

The festival, which attracted a sell-out 1,700 audience – more than three times the island population – has been voted Best Cultural Event or Festival at the prestigious annual Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards.

And in a double success for the island, the Tiree Wave Classic windsurfing event also won HITA’s new Best Sporting Event category, The awards were presented last week(13 November) by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, at a glittering ceremony in the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.

Mr Ewing said: “I commend the hard work and commitment of everyone who extends a warm welcome and high standard of service to Scotland’s visitors. While Tiree in particular can celebrate a deserved double win, I congratulate all of this year’s winners and send best wishes for a long, enjoyable and worthwhile career in tourism and hospitality.”

The Tiree Music Festival, which started in 2010, has grown steadily over the years and is known as one of the most family-friendly in the UK. This year tickets sold out within five hours of going on sale with a line-up that included The Fratellis, We Banjo 3, Skerryvore and Manran.

The HITA judges said of the festival: “The tiny, seemingly inaccessible Isle of Tiree has overcome local constraints to build its annual music festival into an incredible, cultural event which brings economic benefits to the community, highlights traditional and contemporary music and makes imaginative use of sponsorship. It is a worthy winner that has enhanced the overall visitor experience.

Tiree Wave Classic is the longest running professional windsurfing event in the world. Founded in 1986, it showcases the best of the UK’s windsurfing talent, ranging from juniors to World Cup professional windsurfers.

Both events now go onto the national finals – the prestigious Thistle Awards on 18th March 2016 where they will be showcased alongside major events such as the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.

Early bird tickets for TMF 2016 go on sale at noon on Saturday 28th November. With last year selling out in 4hrs we recommend very early booking! Tickets can be purchased from the ticket section of website: http://tireemusicfestival.co.uk/401-2/

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On November 25, 2015
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