Next into the festival punch… The Poozies!

Pioneers and trail-blazers, The Poozies have been pushing boundaries and exploring the musical landscape for over 25 years – and are making a welcome return to the Orkney Folk Festival in 2019.

Founding member, Mary Macmaster (electro-harp, vocals) and long-term cohort Eilidh Shaw (fiddle, vocals) are joined by Hoy’s Sarah McFadyen (fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals), and Tia Files (guitar, percussion, fiddle, vocals) from Oban, in a line-up widely hailed as the group’s most exciting yet

Since the release of their 2018 album, Punch – shortlisted for Album of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards – the quartet have been enjoying a whirlwind year of festivals, touring and celebrity occasions. Their exhilarating sets of original tunes and eclectic mix of songs burst with energy and invention, peppered with the group’s signature rascality, seduction and joie de vivre.

A long time coming… Lau returning in 2019

Already nine years since they last appeared in Orkney, Lau are set to make a triumphant return to the folk festival in 2019.

Whilst rooted in tradition, it’s safe to say that Lau have pushed the boundaries of modern folk music like few others; theirs has a bold, free-thinking, visionary sense of creativity and adventure that reshapes and thrillingly reimagines the conventional parameters of a trio.

Kris Drever (vocals, guitar), Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) effortlessly bridge the seemingly diametrically opposed worlds of acoustic folk and post-rock electronics in an enthralling live show that has earned them the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Best Band title no less than four times, alongside a forest’s worth of ecstatic, five-star reviews.

Cara Dillon returning in 2019

Our first artist announced for the 2019 festival, is the utterly sublime Cara Dillon.

Boasting “quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female voice” (MOJO magazine), Cara Dillon occupies an enviable position at the very top of her genre. This extraordinary Irish singer has been achieving exceptional acclaim and captivating audiences for over 20 years – including a great many on her maiden voyage to Orkney in 2010.

Cara’s legions of fans will attest to impassioned performances, where every note and word is sung with a passion and confidence earned through life of experience singing traditional songs, whilst her warm and natural stage presence is something to savour. Cara and her trio – including husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman – will be performing a selection of favourites from across her career, as well as material from her heralded 2017 album, Wanderer (“gorgeous stuff”, The Guardian).

See you in 2019!

Thank you all for a fantastic 36th Orkney Folk Festival!

Once again, the streets of Stromness thronged with visitors from within and outwith Orkney providing the perfect backdrop for the majority of the events of the weekend.

Delivering such a bumper programme of events spread across the county simply does not happen without the many volunteers who, in support of the all-volunteer committee, give so freely and enthusiastically of their time. Without such commitment, staging a festival of this size simply would not be possible. Co-ordinating the inputs of so many is a task in itself and a huge vote of thanks goes to all who played their part so well. Thanks must also go to the townsfolk and businesses of Stromness who supported the closure of the street on both Saturday and Sunday in order that we might parade, sing and dance in front of the new outdoor stage.

Special thanks must go to our funders and sponsors. This support ensures that the festival is able to take to Orkney some of the finest musicians from near and far, and to draw visitors to our shores undoubtedly making a very significant contribution...