Orkney Folk Festival nominated for Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards

We’re over the moon to be shortlisted for this year’s Highland and Islands Thistle Awards.

The awards identify, highlight and reward excellence throughout the tourism industry within the Highlands and Islands. The festival is nominated in the Outstanding Event or Festival category, which recognises creativity, innovation and the delivery of unique, excellent experiences.

Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Inverness in October.

Thank you for another record breaking weekend

A huge thank you from our board and committee to everyone who’s helped us celebrate folk music over the last four days.

It’s been another record breaking year. We sold more than 8,700 tickets, with nearly 1,000 people also taking advantage of our free digital streaming pass.

We’ve had such a lovely time. Thank you to all our local and visiting artists, volunteers, sponsors, Orkney Friends, crews, audiences, local businesses and the wider Orkney community for making the event such a success.

Once the tidying is finished we’ll be taking a bit of a breather, but we’ll be back soon with all our photos from the weekend on social media so you can relive lots of special memories.

Until then, get next year’s dates in your diary: 22 to 25 May 2025.

See you all then!

Orkney Folk Festival opens to record breaking sales

The award-winning Orkney Folk Festival opens today, Thursday, following record breaking ticket sales for the 41stedition of the event.

More than 8,300 tickets have sold for the four-day island festival, an uplift on the previous record set in 2023. Almost 600 people have also signed up for the festival’s free digital pass, allowing virtual audience members to stream three events between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 May.

Orkney Folk Festival is one of Scotland’s longest-running folk festivals, and the current MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards Event of the Year. Leading artists from Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland, Norway, England and throughout Scotland will join home-grown Orcadian musicians at the festival in its 41st year.

Contemporary Canadian folk/pop band The East Pointers are appearing as part of their tenth anniversary celebrations, their first appearance at a Scottish festival in recent years.

They’re joined by no less than four other Canadian acts: Quebecois trio Genticorum, and three diverse acts from Newfoundland, Rum RaggedQuote the Raven, and Mallory Johnson, as the province celebrates its Year of the Arts in 2024

Transatlantic connections are also being celebrated with the appearances of banjo prodigy Nora Brown with Stephanie Coleman, country artist Brennen Leigh, and quartet Corner House, featuring Orphir’s own...

Digital pass offers free streaming of 2024 events

Orkney Folk Festival has launched a digital pass for the 2024 festival, allowing people to stream three events from this year’s programme for free.

Music lovers can watch one evening event per day online between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 May, by pre-booking a free ticket on the Orkney Folk Festival website.

The events available to view through the pass will remain a surprise until the beginning of the live stream each evening.

Virtual audience members will be able to watch one of the concerts beginning at 7.30pm on both Friday 24 and Saturday 25 May, then one of the three farewell concerts which start at 6.30pm on Sunday 26 May.

Each video stream will remain online for 24 hours, allowing time to catch up for those who are unable to watch the events as they happen.

Offering the digital pass is in line with the organisers’ ambitions to make the event as inclusive as possible, allowing those unable to attend in person the chance to enjoy visiting and local artists from their homes.

It also provides an opportunity to share the festival experience with people who may never have visited Orkney or the event...