A two day music and whisky festival headlined by legendary Manchester bands I Am Kloot and Gomez. With every ticket including some free whisky tasting, an on-site “Whisky Hotel”, VIP area, street food, fully-stocked bars, and mixologists & cocktail bars, The Whisky Sessions is one winter festival not to be missed!
We spoke with the organisers about what makes the Whisky Sessions a not-to-be-missed event this winter.
For anyone new to the Whisky Sessions, can you describe festival in a sentence?
It’s a Music festival with a whisky twist – 24 bands, 2 stages, 2 days, spectacular venue, all combined with world famous whiskies, ales, wines, beers & street food… sounds fun, right?
The Victoria Warehouse has hosted some pretty awesome events this year. What makes it such a special place?
When we walked into the Victoria Warehouse for the first time it immediately had the “earthy” vibe we were looking for to suit both the music & whisky elements of the festival. It’s not a normal space for a gig, and feels different to any venue we’ve worked in before.
We’re sure that once it is full of our bands, music fans & whisky lovers, it will really come to life and everyone will have a brilliant time. We certainly can’t wait!
How did you go about selecting the line-up? Did you try and land a few of your personal favourite bands?
Music & Whisky have always sat well together, and we wanted to particularly focus on indie, folk, roots’n’blues, americana and singer-songwriter acts, which are so often linked to the roots and cultures of the different whisky producing countries from around the world. We feel our line-up really reflects that with some Scottish, Irish, Americana, & English acts (yes, England produces whisky too), and more….
It was also important for us to have a local flavour, so when the likes of I Am Kloot, Gomez , Tim Burgess, Badly Drawn Boy & The Travelling Band agreed to get involved we were delighted, as we’ve been fans for a long time!
Aside from the great selection of local acts who are you most looking forward to seeing?
We wanted to mix in some great emerging talent with the more well-known acts, and there are some brilliant young acts on the bill.
It’s hard to single just a few out, but what we’ve tried to add with the 2nd stage is a slightly different vibe, with acts like The Travelling Band, Southern and Emily Barker, who will really bring something to the 2nd stage on Friday, whilst on the Saturday you’ll find The Riptide Movement, Marcus Bonfanti and The Young Folk will really bring a celtic-folk and bluesy vibe… but to be honest, we could happily stay at both stages all day!
There is a strong Manchester flavour to the music, but what should we expect from the Whiskey?
There will be a selection of whiskies from around the world, and every ticket includes 3 free tastings in the Whisky Hotel, where they can meet the people who make it!
We’ll have some great whiskies from Auchentoshan, Compass Box, Paul John (an Indian Whisky), exclusive listings from The Whisky Lounge, and “the Whisky Shop” in Manchester, and over 100 award-winning whiskies from this year’s International Wines & Spirits Competition.
And for those who don’t like the straight stuff, we’ll have some fantastic whisky cocktails on the bars around the festival, including Manchester’s own mixologists from The Whiskey Jar up in the VIP Mezzanine, and we’ll also be serving wines, beers, and real ale!
And what can we expect to fill our faces with to soak up all that quality booze and music?
There will be a range of street food retailers on-site, where festival-goers can tuck in to some really tasty offerings, ranging from Buffalo Trace Bourbon burgers BBQ’d over 25 year old whisky casks, through to wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian street food, and much more… something for everyone to fuel their evening!
And finally what would be your perfect pairing of whisky and music?
For us it has to be an Eagle Rare 10 year old bourbon with some roots’n’blues, but when it comes to whisky & music it’s each to their own!
The Whisky Sessions is about reaching music lovers who may at best have a whisky & coke occasionally, and introducing them to new whiskies & music that they might otherwise never find out about… and hopefully we can convert a few to enjoying some different whiskies in the future.