Enter the 2017 Open Stage

Entry to this year’s Open Stage competition is now open, until April 30th.

The Open Stage is a friendly competition, open to all – soloists, bands, musicians and singers (in any combination) – taking place on Saturday 27 May. This year we’ve moved the event slightly later in the day, to 3pm, and into the more intimate surrounds of the Stromness Hotel (the Festival Club room).

To keep the event running to time, though, we unfortunately cannot guarantee a place for all who apply. Entrants will hear back from us no later than May 10th.

More information, or enter here.

Good luck!

Orcadian connections centre-stage at the festival

A further six artists have been added to the line-up of this year’s festival, including a few Orcadian artists making their way home for the festival, as well as one of Norway’s most celebrated Hardanger fiddlers, who will explore the links between Orcadian and Norwegian folk traditions.

A regular name at recent Orkney Folk Festivals, but making their debut appearances in the county in their newly expanded, four-piece line-up, Gnoss is the award-winning pairing of Orcadians Graham Rorie and Aidan Moodie, alongside Gregor Kincaid and Connor Sinclair, hotly tipped as “ones to watch” by Songlines magazine.

Hoy’s Sarah McFadyen will bring no less than three groups to May’s festival – The McFaddyWaddys, her family band in which she shares a tune with her Dad, Ian; Mountain Ears, this year’s folk festival family act, where she appears alongside Joel Sanderson, Cammy Sinclair and Tia Files, who together share a wealth of experience in children’s entertainment; and the Big Foot Dance Band, which incorporates one of the most diverse collective backgrounds imaginable – ska, balkan, bluegrass, indie pop, internative pop, gypsy, country, folk, traditional Irish, reggae, western swing, jazz and experimental – guaranteeing to...

2017 Patronage now available

Patronage for the 2017 festival is now available.

For just £20, Festival Patrons benefit from advanced access to tickets (in April), 30% discounted travel from the Scottish mainland to Orkney with NorthLink Ferries (passengers and car fares only – cabins not included) and 10% off festival merchandise (not including artist CDs or band merch).

Purchase patronage for this year’s festival here.

O.F.F. receives volunteering award

We’re delighted to report that the festival has become the first in the county to receive the Quality Volunteering Award from Voluntary Action Orkney, highlighting the organisation’s commitment to volunteering and volunteer management – not to mention that of our outstanding volunteer workforce.

VAO’s Quality Volunteering programme enables any organisation that involves volunteers in their work to comprehensively review volunteer management, policies and procedures.

Receiving the award on behalf of the festival, chairperson Elaine Grieve said: “Volunteers are the life-blood of the festival. Without the very many folk who give of their time to ensure a fabulous experience, there simply wouldn’t be an Orkney Folk Festival as we know and love it. This award confims our commitment to ensuring a well-supported and well-managed volunteering experience, and also, I hope, demonstrates how much we value our tremendous volunteer army.”

Pictured: Leslie Burgher, chair of both the St Magnus Festival and of the Orkney Festivals Forum presentation event; Chessa Llewellyn-White, HIE; Elaine Grieve, chair of Orkney Folk Festival; and Fraser Devine, Voluntary Action Orkney.