Posts Categorized: News

Take part in the Fiddlers’ Rally!

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If you fancy taking to the stage in this year’s Fiddlers’ Rally, held on Sunday 29 May in the Stromness Academy, you can now download a copy of this year’s sheet music to brush up on the tunes ahead. Hosted by the West Mainland Strathspey and Reel Society, the Fiddlers’ Rally brings together a great… Read more »

Enter the Open Stage!

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Entry to this year’s Open Stage competition is now open – apply online here! The Open Stage is – as it says on the tin – a stage open to all: soloists or groups; singers, musicians or both. With a billed slot at next year’s festival up for grabs, in return for just a 10… Read more »

Programme out now!

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The 2016 festival programme is now available – download the brochure PDF here, or view online – detailing 35 ticketed events (not including workshops, free events and pub sessions) and 55 acts, all within just four days next months. Tickets will go on sale to Festival Patrons at 10am on April 16, a week ahead… Read more »

Preview the festival on Spotify

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To get you in the mood for the festival, you can preview most of the artists appearing, on Spotify.  If you’re already signed up to the site, be sure to follow the playlist and you’ll be kept up to date as we announce new bands. More coming soon!

Become a 2016 Festival Patron

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Patronage is now available for this year’s festival. For just £20, Patrons qualify for a 30% discount on travel to Orkney with NorthLink Ferries, 10% off festival merchandise and advanced access to tickets. BUY PATRONAGE ONLINE On buying patronage, you will be asked to create an account – or sign back into one from 2015,… Read more »

18 Acts and 9 Traditions heading for Orkney in 2016

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The team behind the Orkney Folk Festival have today (Tuesday, January 12) revealed some 14 acts, bringing the current total to 18, spanning nine distinct traditions, who will perform at the 34th annual event, held between May 26-29. Artists from the United States, Canada, Finland, Ireland, England, mainland Scotland, Shetland and the Hebrides will join… Read more »

Our final Christmas teaser… Julie Fowlis!

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The last of our advance names for next year’s festival is the multi-award winning and world-renowned Gaelic singer, Julie Fowlis. Julie has graced stages around the globe – from village halls in the Highlands, to theatres in Paris, Vienna, London and New York, to singing live at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow XX Commonwealth… Read more »

Fun times ahead, with Finland’s finest – Frigg!

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The leading act of the Nordic fiddle scene, Frigg are making their maiden voyage to Orkney in 2016. Featuring the premier talents of a generation of Finnish folk musicians, these seven players draw their strength first and foremost from the music of their homeland, incorporating many other influences from their worldwide travels to create their… Read more »

Making their way to Orkney – The Unthanks!

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The second act to be announced for the 2016 Orkney Folk Festival is the sublime Tynside sister-act, The Unthanks. Becky and Rachel Unthank explore the traditional music and songs of the North East of England, shaping with otherworldly harmonies and audacious arrangements, whilst drawing on influences ranging from Steve Reich to Tom Waits. Their eighth… Read more »

First up for 2016… Liz Carroll!

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We are delighted to announce our first artist for 2016’s festival – the one and only Liz Carroll! Liz is one of the world’s most renowned fiddlers and prolific composers, whose tunes have entered into the repertoire of musicians around the globe. Born in Chicago of Irish parents, and having been surrounded by music from… Read more »

See you next year!

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That’s all folks! Thanks to everyone who played a part in this year’s festival – all 55 acts, the 12-strong committee, over 100 volunteers, 14 sound and light men, and our record-breaking 6,000+ audience. May 26-29, 2016 – see you for number 34!

Curtain Up!

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The 33rd Orkney Folk Festival kicks off today, signalling the start of four days of concerts, ceilidhs, clubs, sessions, workshops, talks and more throughout the county. Ticket sales have already surpassed the highest totals for any previous year – held jointly by the 30th anniversary weekend, in 2012, and 2014 – with well over 6,000… Read more »

Spotify Playlist

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We’ve created a Spotify playlist for this year’s festival, featuring most of the acts appearing. Check it out to get you in the mood!

Join the Fiddlers’ Rally!

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If you fancy taking to the stage during the festival, and picking up some new tunes into the bargain, why not join in with the Fiddlers’ Rally on the afternoon of Sunday 24 May? Hosted by the West Mainland Strathspey and Reel Society, the Rally brings together musicians from throughout Orkney and further afield, for… Read more »

New t-shirt design, through Orkney College partnership

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No trip to a festival would be complete without purchasing a limited edition piece of merchandise, and this year we are delighted to have partnered with the art portfolio course at Orkney College, to create a brand new t-shirt design. After weeks of design development, each student submitted one final design to be considered by… Read more »

BBC Radio Orkney festival preview

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The nice folks at BBC Radio Orkney recently aired a preview of this year’s festival. Have a listen here, to check out just some of the artist visiting in May. There’s also some chat with Kevin Henderson, of The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, and Jeana Leslie, from Fara.

Enter the 2015 Open Stage!

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Entry to the 2015 Orkney Folk Festival Open Stage is now open. If you fancy taking to the stage in the Stromness Town Hall – in the event’s tenth anniversary year – to be in with a chance of winning a slot at the 2016 festival, enter online here, until April 26. Applicants will be… Read more »

The Dardanelles

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Owing to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, The Dardanelles, from Newfoundland, have unfortunately had to withdraw from performing at this year’s Orkney Folk Festival – and indeed their UK tour as a whole. We are currently finalising things with another fantastic artist, who will more than comfortably fill the band’s space in this year’s programme. We… Read more »

2015 Line-up announced!

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Enough waiting… here’s your lot for this year. Ooh, it’s a good’un! Making her long-awaited debut visit to Orkney, Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon will be heading our way, as will Mercury-nominated English singer/songwriter Seth Lakeman who is also set to make his first appearances in the county. So too are rising stars of the UK… Read more »

Happy New Year!

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Hello – hope this finds you all well in 2015! In amongst the eighteen leftover puddings and taking down the Christmas decorations, we’ve been busy putting the finishing touches to this year’s visiting artist line-up. It’s not quite ready yet – we are aiming to have it with you mid-January – but we have already… Read more »