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Between Islands to celebrate musical links between Orkney, Shetland and Outer Hebrides

The musical connections between three of Scotland’s island groups – Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides – are to be celebrated at this year’s Orkney Folk Festival, with two collaborative concerts featuring celebrated musicians and singers from each of the areas. 

Leading western Isles vocalists Julie Fowlis and Kathleen MacInnes will appear alongside Shetland’s Jenny Keldie and Orcadian duo Saltfishforty – Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty – in two unique productions over the festival weekend.

The five musicians will present a Between Islands concert on Friday, May 24, in the Stromness Town Hall. They, and the theme of connections between island groups, will then form the basis of the 2019 incarnation of the festival’s highly successful Gathering event, on Sunday, May 26, which will also take place in the festival’s flagship venue. 

The Between Islands artists join a stellar line-up already announced for the 37th annual festival, including Four Men and a Dog; Lau; Cara Dillon; Dermot Byrne, Éamonn Coyne and John Doyle; Kinnaris Quintet, The Poozies and Còig, amongst many more. 

These two special concerts are the first of the Between Islands projects – an initiative headed up by Alex Macdonald, of the...

Listen to the 2019 Spotify playlist

You can now browse the festival line-up on Spotify, and get to know the artists appearing at the Orkney Folk Festival in May.

Preview the tracks below, or head straight to the Spotify app for the full playlist. Make sure to follow the festival’s account to be kept updated as further names are announced.

Festival Patronage now available

Patronage for the 2019 Orkney Folk Festival is now available to purchase.

For just £20, Festival Patrons receive discounted ferry travel to Orkney with NorthLink Ferries, early access to festival tickets, and discounted festival merchandise (not including artist merchandise).

Full informations, and terms and conditions, can be found here. See you in May!

Four Men and a Dog barking back to Orkney!

Celebrating their 30th year on the road in 2019, Four Men and a Dogare making a very welcome return to the Orkney Folk Festival in 2019!

Now safely in the rank of legendary, the band formed in 1990 to play at Murphy’s Bar in Dungiven, County Derry, before stealing the show at the Belfast Folk Festival later that year, with a high octane approach that combines energetic traditional dance tunes cross-fertilised with influences from rock, jazz, blues, swing, salsa, polka and even rap.

Founding members Donal Murphy (accordion), Gerry O’Connor (banjo, fiddle) and Gino Lupari (bodhran, bones, vocals) are joined by long-term collaborators Kevin Doherty (guitar, vocals) and Stephen Hayden (fiddle) in a fiery union, certain to ignite the senses.

The ‘Dogs made their debut – and to date only – Orkney appearances at the 2011 festival, and such was their reception that audiences have been requesting a return every year since! Theirs is truly joyous music;  enlivening, enthralling and wholly infectious.