Tune In For The Virtual Orkney Folk Festival 2021

An international bill of leading folk artists from Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark and Canada  will feature as part of this year’s online Orkney Folk Festival – alongside a number of newly commissioned performances from homegrown Orcadian artists.

Festival Director Bob Gibbon said:

“I can’t explain what it means to be able to bring this virtual line up to you all this year. Being prevented from putting on a live festival again yet again was painful, but we have successfully managed to turn it around to a tremendously positive outcome.

“I know online isn’t quite the same, but music is engaging no matter how it is done – that’s the beauty. There are musicians out there literally champing at the bit to be playing again, and this is what we are endeavouring to do; to connect the performer to the listener and hopefully spread some positivity in these desperate times.

“Not only will there be online concerts, there will also be the chance for folk to join in with a Zoom-style Fiddlers’ Rally and an online Folk Festival Choir –  not to mention workshops as well. Basically, all is not lost; life goes on, music lives on, Orkney Folk Festival lives on!”

Art work by Martin Laird

The 2021 four day event will be streamed over the festival’s regular long weekend of May 27-30. It promises numerous new concert performances and workshops, alongside iconic programme fixtures – including Saturday night favourite, The Stomp, and the annual Fiddlers’ Rally with massed performances of traditional tunes; a cornerstone of the festival since its very first outing in 1983.

Renowned for profiling local Orkney talent alongside leading international artists for almost four decades, this year’s festival offering is no exception – featuring the online world premiere of a new suite of music composed by Orcadian fiddle and mandolin player, Graham Rorie.

Some of those performing include:

  • The Chair
  • Fara
  • Saltfishforty
  • Blazin’ Fiddles
  • Skerryvore
  • Talisk
  • Siobhan Miller.
  • Madison Violet
  • Blum and Haugaard Band
  • SVER
  • Edwina Hayes
  • Tannara
  • Dean Owens

Online audiences can also look forward to newly filmed sets from artists including:

  • Eric Linklater and Jennifer Austin
  • Sarah Jane Gibbon and Emma Grieve
  • Lyra
  • Brian Cromarty and Jenny Keldie
  • Jo Philby
  • The Brewers
  • Hullion

All artists appearing at the Virtually Orkney Folk Festival were due to appear live in 2020, prior to the event’s cancellation amidst the UK’s first national lockdown. Having initially been rebooked for 2021, in the hope that it would be a live event, they will now appear both as part of this year’s virtual event and live when the festival returns to an in-person event in 2022.

With further artists and the festival’s full programme to be announced in the coming weeks, all-inclusive weekend streaming tickets are now on sale, at just £40 per household.

For further information and to keep up to date with further artist and programme announcements, head to orkneyfolkfestival.com.

Orkney Folk Festival in 2017 photo Nick Morrison

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