With just over three months to go until the 33rd Orkney Folk Festival it’s looking to already be another success with the full lineup recently revealed. The festival prides itself on flying in artists from around the world as well as promoting Orkney’s home-grown musicians. This year is no exception as it was revealed that joining Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon are rising stars of the UK country scene, Ward Thomas, and English singer/songwriter Seth Lakeman. Also performing are Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys from Canada; festival favourites, The New Rope String Band, on their farewell tour; The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, who bridge the fiddle traditions of Norway, Sweden and Shetland; multi-instrumentalist and singer Tim Edey; Manx trio Barrule; Edinburgh-based, Irish and Hungarian-rooted group Dallahan, and Scots song five-piece, The Lowland Linties. Watch our small preview below:
If you need any reminding of the talent that comes from this area of the world then you need only look at the home-grown acts confirmed to appear at the festival, so far, which include Fara– five young Orcadian expats, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie Louise Bichan, Catriona Price and Jennifer Austin; the gutsy roots pairing of Brian Cromarty and Douglas Montgomery, Saltfishforty; Orkney’s worldwide touring fiddle, piano and guitar duo, The Wrigley Sisters; and the eight-piece musical juggernaut, formed to fill a gap in the festival’s schedule 11 years ago, The Chair. Many more local artists will be added to the programme over the coming months.
This year’s festival will also host a reprisal of Orkney Folk: The Fiddle Gathering – an adaptation of the festival’s ever-popular ‘Gathering showcases, which boast a multi-generational house band featuring teenage prodigies to veteran stalwarts, curated to place a spotlight on the islands’ rich fiddling traditions. To date, the concert has only been staged once, in November, at the Scots Fiddle Festival, in Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall – and so this will be its first home-turf outing.
Orkney Folk Festival’s Artistic Director, Bob Gibbon, said: “The feedback that we received when announcing the first three acts, just a few weeks ago, was quite fantastic – and so we are delighted to now be unveiling the full programme of visiting artists heading to the festival in May.
Watch last years festival footage to get a feel for the magic:
Tickets for the 2015 Orkney Folk Festival will go on sale in the spring. Members of the festival’s Patronage scheme will receive advanced access to tickets, at least a week ahead of their general sale, as well as discounted ferry travel to Orkney from the Scottish mainland with NorthLink Ferries. To find out more about becoming a patron for 2015 and supporting the festival year-round, to purchase patronage, or to read up on any other aspect of the festival, head to www.orkneyfolkfestival.com.