Last weekend was the annual Orkney Folk Festival. Many of the events take place in Stromness. The town was really buzzing, with concerts at different venues, including an outdoor open stage. All the pubs and clubs had impromptu sessions as well as planned ones. Local musicians were joined by those from around the UK and further afield.
I didn't get to as many concerts as I'd hoped as just not enough energy after a full on working week. But what I did see I enjoyed. Photos above and below are of a Manchester band, Kabantu. There was audience participation though as you can see in the photo, the band were more enthusiastic about that than the audience. Haha!
Lots of folk travel to Orkney for the concert, so it's great for our tourist industry too which has a fairly short season.
Here on the outside stage is one of two pipe bands that were playing at the festival. Um.... gawd I'll get into trouble as I don't know which one this is! It is either the Kirkwall or Stromness Pipe Band!
And here are a group of musicians from Kirkwall Grammar School, Hadhirgaan. The group has been going for some years, as older students leave, younger ones join. Their instructor is Douglas Montgomery (from The Chair/Saltfishforty). I love hearing this group, such talented players and make old tunes sound fresh!
The festival lasts from the Thursday to Sunday night, and is the last weekend of May every year. For many of the musicians they don't much sleep in between, and a lot of alcohol is drunk! Probably the same goes for much of the audience too! I don't have the stamina for that kine of weekend anymore so I come home at night!!