Karine Polwart to return in 2020

We are very excited to announce that Karine Polwart will return to the Orkney Folk Festival in 2020!

Last seen at the festival back in 2009, Karine is a multi-award-winning Scottish songwriter and musician, as well as theatre-maker, storyteller, spoken-word performer and published essayist.

Her talent for crafting enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, the game and dynamism of her arrangements, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance. Hers is also the most approachable of singing voices, drawing the listener towards her as if a fireside storyteller.

In October 2019, her song I Burn But I Am Not Consumed – from the heralded 2018 album, Laws of Motion – earned Karine her eighth BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, this time for Best Original Track. 

She has also recently completed a tour of her acclaimed Scottish Songbook project – folky reimaginings of beloved songs from across fifty years of Scottish pop, from artists as diverse as Deacon Blue, Chvrches, Frightened Rabbit and John Martyn – whilst in March 2020 she will, by popular demand, reprise her five-star theatre show, Wind Resistance, at the Royal Lyceum Theatre...

2019 Festival another record breaker!

The 37th Orkney Folk Festival kicks off in triumphant style today, Thursday, with artists from across the globe already settling into the county, amidst the sixth consecutive year of record breaking ticket sales.

Over 6,600 individual concert tickets have sold in advance of the festival opening, with 24 of the festival’s 36 ticketed events sold out in advance. This is both the highest volume of advance sales ever achieved in the voluntary-run festival’s 37-year tenure, as well as the greatest number of pre-festival sellouts. 

Stromness, the festival’s hometown in Orkney’s West Mainland, has already begun welcoming early arrivals, including some of this year’s furthest travelled visitors – Cape Breton’s globetrotting powerhouse quartet, Còig – as well as famed Irish singer Cara Dillon and Irish firebrands Four Men and a Dog, who are currently celebrating their 30th year on the road.

Whilst early arrivals are no rarity for the festival, a far greater number than usual are already in Orkney, owing to a one-day Air Traffic Controllers’ strike across Scotland’s Highlands and Islands taking place today. As well as the closure of Kirkwall Airport, Inverness – a hub for flights from Ireland and England,...

Tickets now on sale!

Tickets for the 37th Orkney Folk Festival are now on sale, exclusively from

Check out the festival programme, for a look at everything taking place over May 23-26, and come join us for an excellent weekend of tunes, songs and craic.

Tickets are moving very fast, though, so don’t hang around. At the time of writing, 10 out of our 36 gigs have sold out, with many more not far behind. We still have good availability across the weekend, but it’s already looking like another very busy year so best grab your tickets now. See you soon!



Ticket Sales – PayPal info

Just a wee reminder – ahead of tickets being released to Festival Patrons on Saturday morning – that due to changes within PayPal, we strongly recommend that all customers have an active PayPal account in order to speed up the payment process.

Even if you have previously been able to check out as a Guest (bypassing the PayPal account login and simply using a card) it is no longer guaranteed that you will be able to do so again. 

As a security measure, PayPal now limits the number and frequency of transactions that may be made via the Guest option, based on both IP and email addresses. Therefore, even if you bought Patronage without a PayPal account, you may find that you need to create one for ticket purchases. This is on an individual basis, and unfortunately we cannot predict whether or not the Guest option will be available to you. 

Customers outside the UK will not be able to use the Guest option. 

Whilst you can create a PayPal account when checking out with your order, we recommend doing so in advance (direct with You do not need to...