The full programme for the 40th anniversary Orkney Folk Festival has just been announced, with 48 acts from around the world set to converge upon Stromness, in Orkney’s west mainland, over May 25-28.
Leading artists from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, England, Wales and throughout Scotland will join 28 home-grown Orcadian artists at the festival.
A total of 47 events in 18 venues across the county form the landmark anniversary programme – including concerts, ceilidhs, clubs, workshops and family events. Whilst more than half of all events will take place in the festival’s hometown of Stromness, festival shows will also take place in Birsay, Finstown, Harray, Kirkwall, Orphir, Sanday, Sandwick, St Margaret’s Hope, Stenness and Tankerness. Two long-term supporters of the festival, Highland Park and Swannay Brewery, will also open their visitor centre doors to festival gigs for the first time in the 40th anniversary.
Globally renowned Scottish folk group Capercaillie will return to the festival on Friday 26 May, having first appeared in the county at the fourth Orkney Folk Festival, in 1986. They will be joined in an unprecedented collaboration with a local orchestra, headed up...
The globally renowned Scottish folk group Capercaillie are set to appear at the 40th Orkney Folk Festival in May, in an unprecedented collaboration with a local orchestra led by Orkney Schools Instrumental Music Service, supported by players from Orkney Camerata and Kirkwall Town Band.
Fast approaching their own 40th anniversary, Capercaillie join 24 acts already announced for the landmark edition of the festival, with artists from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, England, Wales and throughout Scotland set to join home-grown Orcadian musicians.
A seminal presence in contemporary Celtic music, Capercaillie are revered for their many ground-breaking achievements – including performances in over 30 countries, and over a million album sales – and beloved as a thrilling live act. With just a handful of appearances in the county following their Orcadian debut in 1986, at the fourth Orkney Folk Festival, it has now been over 20 years since the band last visited the county. They are set to return in just three months, in an unprecedented collaboration with an orchestra from across Orkney.
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Orkney Folk Festival is launching a new supporter scheme, Orkney Friends, ahead of the 2023 event, giving festival fans the opportunity to play an important part in its continued success.
As a charity, and entirely volunteer run event, the festival relies on the generosity of supporters and sponsors to produce a varied programme of visiting and local artists each year.
Over the years thousands of people have demonstrated their support by being members of the annual Patronage or year-round Patron Plus schemes in return for a range of exclusive benefits.
While this adds to people’s festival experiences and helps raise crucial funds to keep the event running, customer feedback has shown that the schemes have also brought challenges.
Having two very similar but separate schemes has made it overly complicated for people to know how and when to support the festival, and added to the back of house administration for its voluntary committee to manage.
The popularity of the schemes has also placed pressure on the festival’s online ticketing system, creating a poor experience for customers when early access sales launch.
The first wave of artists set to appear at the 2023 Orkney Folk Festival has just been announced, with 24 acts from around the world revealed for the event’s fortieth anniversary.
Leading artists from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, England, Wales and throughout Scotland will join home-grown Orcadian musicians – including a number heading home for the festival’s birthday celebrations – over the May 25-28 long weekend.
Making their way from Austin, Texas, the legendary hot jazz and Western swing group Hot Club of Cowtown will appear at the festival on a UK exclusive, ahead of a European tour. Inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2004, and seen on Later… with Jools Holland, the trio blends traditional 1930s Western swing with European hot jazz from the same era.
Likewise joining from the USA, Vermont cellist Eric Wright will appear alongside Cape Breton fiddler, Mairi Rankin, in their award-winning duo partnership. The union of Mairi’s fiddle with Eric’s Old Time cello brings together two virtuosic musicians, each with a respect and reverence for their rich traditions, but with a command and creativity that seamlessly blends their styles.
Also from eastern Canada, Mo...