The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Orkney Folk Festival

Sula from Denmark at Orkney Folk Festival © Tom O'Brien

Orkney Folk Festival has been taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May since 1982.

It has developed into an event of national renown, having its spiritual home in the sea haven that is Stromness in the West Mainland of Orkney, where the narrow streets and intimate atmosphere of the surroundings make it one of the friendliest and unforgettable visitor experiences in the folk music calendar.

The festival's vision is to maintain and augment its standing as one of the foremost folk festivals in Scotland outwith the main cities.

Its mission is to promote a viable annual festival of ethnic, traditional and contemporary folk music in Orkney through a programme of quality events and community activities that will showcase the talents of local artists and expose them to the highest calibre of visiting artists for the enjoyment of local people and visitors alike.

And, in doing so, to enhance the reputation of The Orkney Isles as a centre of cultural excellence for the social and economic benefit of the wider community.

Amy and Jack Westwell, winners of the 2009 Open Stage competition © Tom O'BrienMany people have been involved over the years but special mention should be made of Johnny and Marie Mowat who until 2007 were the driving force behind the festival. Indeed Johnny was a committee member from the inception in December 1982 and it is a testament to their unstinting commitment that it is as well-organised and as highly regarded as it is to-day.

Orkney Folk Festival won Event of the Year in the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2011.

© Gavin Cullen