Isle Martin Seaweed Festival Sets New Dates for 2021

Scotland’s very first seaweed festival is back. After last year’s disappointing postponement as a result of the pandemic, the organisers of the Isle Martin Seaweed Festival are delighted to announce that the event will now go ahead from 6th – 12th September 2021.

It is planned that the event, which is supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, will offer a combination of online and offline activities and has been extended from its original 3 days to a full week.

“We are busy putting together an updated programme that will feature as many of the original plans that are possible with the safety restrictions, together with some exciting new ideas that have come about because we now have an online element” explains Festival Curator, Julia Barton. “It’s going to be a fascinating combination of local and global content, enabling us to be truly international in our reach, while celebrating all that is special about seaweed from this amazing part of the world”.

“It will be an amazing opportunity to hear from international seaweed specialists who will be bringing their own unique perspectives and enthusiasm to the Festival,” says Julia.

This celebration of seaweed will still use Isle Martin community-owned island as a central festival hub but with events now mostly outdoors and spread around different locations to promote distanced participation.

There will be self-guided walks, identification activities, small-group talks, demonstrations and exhibitions. Outdoor events on mainland beaches will allow a wider spread of festival ‘fringe’ activities. Some events will move into schools programmes, with plenty of opportunities for local businesses and groups to get involved too.

Marie Christie, Head of Development at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to be supporting Isle Martin Seaweed Festival as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 2021. Scotland provides the perfect stage to explore the amazing array of riches present in our coasts and waters and this festival will shine a light on the importance of seaweed to our cultural and economic heritage.”

This unique festival is being designed to appeal to both local residents and visitors alike, and will be linking in with national seaweed initiatives such as Natural History Museum & Marine Conservation Society Big Seaweed Search.

Follow us on our new Festival Instagram account @seaweedfestival.islemartin

Notes to Editors

  • Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased throughout 2020 and 2021 and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
  • Following input and feedback from the tourism and events industry, there was strong support and a commitment from Scottish Government to rollover the celebratory year into 2021. Work is currently ongoing to rescope and reshape the supported events programme.
  • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
  • A programme of activities, events and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
  • Join the conversation using #YCW2021
  • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years are planned to take place every second year to enable more time for planning and collaboration. Given the impact of COVID-19 an exception will be made in 2021 with the 2020 year rolling forward. 2022 will celebrate the Year of Scotland’s Stories. The next Themed Year is planned to follow in 2024.