We have reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s event due to the continuing uncertainty over travel and other restrictions linked to the Covid pandemic.
We are not confident of being able to hold a physical festival towards the end of the summer and so have decided to cut our losses and cancel now.
And while we learnt a lot from our online programme last year, and are incredibly grateful for everyone’s contributions and support from across the globe, our feeling is that live events on the island are really what our festival is all about and we don’t want to move too far away from that.
We also feel there is no point trying to compete in a now very cluttered digital landscape.
However, we have decided instead to try and organise some one-off book events this year to support a couple of local publications coming out in May and June respectively. These events will most likely be held online over the summer months.
In the meantime, we’ll be working away in the background on a future strategy for the festival and in particular to try to secure longer-term funding for our activities. We look forward to coming back with a bang in 2022!
The Islay Book Festival AGM will take place at 12 noon on Saturday 6 February. This is a delayed AGM from 2020, as due to various difficulties caused by Covid, we were unable to hold it before the end of the year. This AGM will therefore present on our 2019-20 activity, but will also include a summary of our 2020-21 activity so far to keep everyone up to date.
Our chair, Isla Rosser-Owen, introduces this year’s digifest, which she calls “our own unique, informal Hebridean offering to the digital landscape”. As well as highlighting some of the events she’s most looking forward to, Isla also talks a bit about why we decided to go digital this year, saying that “just because we’re a small festival on an island off the south-west coast of Scotland does not mean that we don’t have a valid contribution [to make], it does not mean that we can’t have a seat at the digital table too”.
Watch the full announcement below, and while you’re at it, please do subscribe to our YouTube channel!