News

The Big 2020 Lockdown Special

Hope everyone’s getting on as well as can be, in these crazy times.

As you’ll no doubt be aware, this weekend would have been our 38th festival. Obviously that’s not to be this year, and needless to say we can’t wait to be back up and running once this is all over.

In the meantime, we couldn’t let the weekend pass without marking it somehow – so we’ve been raking through the hard drives to pull together a few concerts that we are very excited to be able to stream on Facebook and YouTube over the next few days! 

Its not what we had planned for this time of year, but – wherever you are in the world – we would love it if you could join us from your sofas for a peedie virtual festival at home.

THURSDAY 21 MAY
8.00pm – Recent Highlights
A compilation of compilations to warm up for the weekend. A few recent highlight packages, distilling the four day festival into one four or five minute snapshot; both as a reminder, and to tempt future visitors. Here we look back at the 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019 festivals. 

FRIDAY...

38th Orkney Folk Festival postponed until 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is with very heavy hearts that we are postponing the 38th Orkney Folk Festival until 2021.

Given yesterday’s announcements from both the UK and Scottish governments regarding social distancing and public gatherings, we have no choice but to sit this year out. Public health and all necessary precautions must come first.

We are therefore looking forward to returning in 2021, and are currently in discussion with all of this year’s artists in hope that we can still welcome them – and all of you – to the festival, albeit a year later than planned. Many have already confirmed, and we will make further such announcements in due course.

We will be in touch with all registered Patrons in the next few days, and kindly request your patience whilst we work through everything and everyone (there are a lot of you!). These are uncharted waters for everyone.

In the meantime, please keep supporting musicians and artists in these uncertain times – many of whom have seen the vast majority of their income for the next few months vanish in a matter of days. Buy merchandise, commission tunes, learn...

18 more artists announced for 2020!

A further 18 artists have today been added to the bill for the 2020 Orkney Folk Festival.

A strong Scottish contingent heads up the 38th festival line-up, complimented by leading artists from Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, India, the USA, England, Shetland, and of course Orkney’s own thriving local scene.

Scottish folk rockers Skerryvore will make their debut Orkney appearances in their fifteenth year on the road, whilst festival favourites Blazin’ Fiddles and Dàimh will both make welcome returns. Shetland fiddler Kevin Henderson and USA pianist Neil Pearlman kick off their debut UK tour at the festival, as multi award-winning Skye piper Brìghde Chaimbeul also makes her first Orkney appearances.

Celebrated Scottish singer Siobhan Miller returns to the festival, though fronting her own band for the first time, as do the immensely popular Peter Wood Shetland Dance Band, Yorkshire singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes, and one of Denmark’s most popular live acts, the Blum and Haugaard Band.

Fife singer-songwriter James Yorkston, English jazzer Jon Thorne and Indian classical sarangi player and singer Suhail Yusuf Khan will visit the festival in their serendipitous three-piece collaboration, whilst fellow trios The Langan Band and Dean Owen and The Southerners will...

Talisk heading for Orkney Folk Festival 2020!

One of Scotland’s most popular folk-based groups to emerge in the last decade, chart-toppers Talisk are set to appear at the 2020 Orkney Folk Festival.

Mohsen Amini, Hayley Keenan and Graeme Armstrong fuse concertina, fiddle and guitar to produce a multi-layered, enthralling signature that effortlessly captivates. In recent years, the trio have toured the world stacking up several major awards for their explosively energetic yet artfully woven sound, including the Belhaven Bursary for Innovation, Folk Band of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, and a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award.

Appearances at leading festivals – including closing out Saturday night’s main stage at the 2019 Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s world-renowned Tønder Festival, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysian Borneo, WOMAD UK and Las Palmas, two back-to-back years at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival and five successive outings at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections – have garnered a die-hard following (amassing over 2million Spotify streams in 2019 alone), whilst the folk and world music media have also lauded high credits upon the genre-bending, ground-breaking trio.

Their hotly anticipated second album, Beyond, quickly rose to No.1 in the iTunes...