2018 Festival Patronage now available

We’re pleased to report that Patronage for the 2018 festival is now available to purchase. For more information on the benefits, and to buy:

We are aware that this has taken slightly longer than usual to get up and running, and won’t bore you with why – just a couple of critical issues that were, unfortunately, entirely out of our hands. Pleased to say that these have been ironed out now, we’re up and running, and we thank you for your patience.


Twelve more artists announced for Orkney Folk Festival 2018

A further twelve artists have been announced for this year’s Orkney Folk Festival.

Joining the four first names, announced in December – Duncan Chisholm, The Once, String Sisters and Dougie MacLean – are:

Ímar (Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man), Fara (Orkney), The Maes (Australia), Saltfishforty (Orkney), The Wrigley Sisters (Orkney), Auld Hats New Heids (Scotland), TRIP (Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man), The Chair (Orkney), Kabantu (England, Scotland, South Africa), Gnoss (Orkney), the Craig Paton Dance Band (Scotland), and Jo Philby (Orkney).

Head to our line-up pages for information, videos and tunes and songs from all of the artists heading our way in May – or just click on their names above.


Caledonia’s Dougie MacLean to perform at 2018 festival

“Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriter and a national musical treasure” (SingOut USA), Dougie MacLean will return to the Orkney Folk Festival in May 2018.

Originally famed for writing the much-loved anthem, Caledonia – MacLean has, over his 40-year career, developed a unique blend of lyrical, roots based songwriting and instrumental composition.

He has built a phenomenal international reputation as songwriter, composer and extraordinary performer, which has led to concerts and festivals all over the world, whilst his performance during the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (alongside Kylie Minogue and Lulu) was viewed by a television audience of over a billion people worldwide.

MacLean’s songs have been covered by hosts of diverse artists, including Paolo Nutini, Amy MacDonald, Ronan Keating, Mary Black, Frankie Miller and Kathy Mattea. His breakout song, Caledonia – from his 1978 debut album, has become one of Scotland’s most popular contemporary songs, whilst his instrumental music has been widely used throughout TV and film – including the soundtracks of Last of the Mohicans and T2 Transpottingng.

Across his career, he has received numerous gold discs for album sales, two prestigious Tartan Clef Awards, a place in the Scottish Music Hall...

Six of the world’s finest fiddlers, String Sisters heading to O.F.F. 2018

Featuring six of the world’s top fiddlers, from Shetland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the USA, the phenomenal String Sisters will appear at the 2018 Orkney Folk Festival.

Joined by a peerless quartet of piano, guitar, bass and drums, the String Sisters blend Nordic and Celtic traditions into one glorious, enthralling sound. Formed at Celtic Connections in 1998 by Shetland fiddler Catriona Macdonald, the group are rarely seen live – but theirs are thrilling performances, and very special occasions.

The band combines the astounding collective talents of fiddlers Annbjørg Lien (Norway), Catriona Macdonald (Shetland), Emma Härdelin (Sweden), Liz Carroll (United States) – whose first visit to Orkney was just in 2015, where she appeared at the festival, exclusively, from Chicago – Liz Knowles (United States), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Ireland), alongside Tore Bruvoll (Norway) on guitar, pianist Dave Milligan (Scotland), Conrad Molleson (Scotland) on bass and percussionist James Mackintosh (Scotland).

Following a barnstorming reunion in 2015 at the Celtic Colours International Festival, in Cape Breton, Canada, String Sisters played their only 2016 gig at Denmark’s legendary Tønder Festival. Their limited time together in 2017 was spent recording a new album – Between Wind and Water – which will be released through a handful of live dates in January 2018, including a return to...