Introducing our new supporter scheme, Orkney Friends

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.


40th anniversary line-up announced

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...

Introducing our new Festival Producer!

Ahead of our fortieth anniversary in 2023, the Orkney Folk Festival has recently welcomed a new festival producer – with responsibility for the festival’s artistic direction. 

Craig Corse, from Kirkwall, has taken the reins of the award-winning festival, having served on the committee in a variety of roles since 2007. He takes the baton from former festival director, Bob Gibbon – who remains on the committee after 15 years at the helm – and becomes the third person to book the programme for the much loved four-day event, also following Johnny Mowat. 

A familiar face at the festival, Craig has spent most of his life involved in music. As director of CCM Live, one of Scotland’s leading folk-based booking agencies, Craig represents a number of well-known Scottish artists worldwide, as well as international artists touring to the UK and Europe. He is also a co-director of Showcase Scotland Expo, Scotland’s nationally funded export body for folk, roots and acoustic music; and a board member of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections, Scotland’s largest international music conference. With over a decade’s experience in artist strategy, booking, marketing and programming, Craig has been...

Return of Orkney Folk Festival a record-breaker!

After three long years, the Orkney Folk Festival returns to a full-scale live event this weekend, and in triumphant style – breaking all previous ticket records. 

For the first time in the event’s 39-year history, over 7,000 individual concert tickets have sold in advance of the Stromness-based festival’s opening, today, with 17 of the festival’s 32 shows sold out. 

In addition to record-breaking live audiences, folk fans at home can also tune into this weekend’s festivities, with the addition of three recently announced live-streamed festival concerts. Dubbed ‘Virtually Orkney Folk Festival’ the festival’s inaugural hybrid edition builds upon the success of the previous two years’ online editions, bringing audiences around the world to Orkney in real time. 

One of Scotland’s longest-running folk festivals, the Orkney Folk Festival is set to welcome over 50 acts and over 250 musicians to the festival once again. Musicians and singers from throughout Scotland will join artists from England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, USA and India in appearing alongside scores of home-grown Orcadian artists in venues throughout Stromness and the Orkney mainland, over May 26-29.

This year’s live festival is the first since 2019, and follows...