Today is the first day of Orkney's annual folk festival which showcases acts from down the road as well as across the sea. See here for all the acts who have been booked to appear. As you will see, the vast majority of events are sold out, but there are sometimes returned tickets at the door and the pubs of Stromness are sure to be filled with fiddles and accordions all week.
There is an archive connection to the festival in the form of the Song Shop Trio who you may remember performing on Radio Orkney during the Library and Archive Discovery Week. Sarah Jane of the trio is an archive employee and has been involved in the hugely successful Big Orkney Song project. This project is an attempt to collect, perform and make known the folk songs of Orkney. For some time now, a group of dedicated volunteers have been regularly visiting the archive in search of folk songs amongst the old newspapers, reel to reels and other documents.
We have also put together a small collection of material from the archive to celebrate, not only the folk festival, but the St Magnus festival which takes place later on in the Summer. Documents include original folk music collected by our very own photographic technician, photographs of various musical events, sheet music, programmes, bell music from the St Magnus Cathedral and a manuscript book of religious music that dates from around 1790.