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 before, widening its reach around the world.

This is the third year running that the festival has offered streaming tickets, which have proved to be very popular. The initiative was developed following the Virtually Orkney Folk Festival in 2021, while pandemic restrictions prevented the event from happening in its usual form.

This year’s digital pass is being delivered with support from Event Scotland’s National Events Programme.

The launch of the digital pass comes a month before the start of this year’s festival on Thursday 23 May. There are still more than 2,400 in person tickets available for events happening across Orkney between Thursday 23 and Sunday 26 May 2024.

Orkney Folk Festival Producer, Craig Corse said: “We’re delighted to once again be offering a digital pass to this year’s Orkney Folk Festival – completely free of charge.

“Like many, we were led towards streaming to stay connected during the pandemic, yet retaining a digital offering makes the event a much more accessible and inclusive one for audiences around the world.

“We appreciate that, with the best will in the world, folks that live far away from Orkney might not be able to attend every year. For those new to the festival, a taster might be needed before crossing oceans to be with us in person for the first time – and we very much hope that watching in real time will whet the appetite to make the journey.

“Much closer to home, there’s any number of reasons why sitting in a concert for a couple of hours just isn’t possible, no matter how accessible a venue may be, and so we’re genuinely delighted to once again extend a warm festival welcome to everyone.

“Streaming live festival concerts is much more than switching on a camera, though – it requires a whole other production team, working alongside our live crews – and we owe a massive thank-you to EventScotland for once again making this possible.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Orkney Folk Festival through our National Funding Programme to showcase our islands through such a uniquely Scottish event. I’m sure Orkney will provide the perfect stage for this celebration of local music and culture and a warm welcome to those from farther afield.”