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First Taste of Orkney Festival on back burner until 2021

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The first ever Taste of Orkney Festival, which aims to showcase local food and drink provenance and promote the islands as a foodie destination, has been put on the back burner until next year.

Organisers Taste of Orkney say they have postponed the event - due to take place this September - in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is now set to run from Friday 17 September until Sunday 19 September 2021, primarily at the Orkney Theatre in Kirkwall.

The festival will also form part of the rescheduled events programme for the Scottish Government’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 celebrations, led by VisitScotland.

Taste of Orkney project manager, Edgar Balfour, said: “It’s disappointing that we’ve had to postpone the event as we had a packed programme of demonstrations, workshops and experiences planned, as well as an exciting fringe festival. However, we want to make the most of the opportunity and are looking forward to celebrating our fantastic food and drink with everyone when the time is right.

“Hopefully by next year there’ll be more certainty about the staging of events and we’ll have a clearer idea about what, if any, physical distancing requirements we’ll have to accommodate. And, of course, we’ll expect to see many more visitors to Orkney by then too.”

Mr Balfour said the festival was working closely with its funding partners, EventScotland, Scotland Food and Drink and Orkney Islands Council, to confirm the full programme for 2021.

Cheryl Chapman, VisitScotland development manager for Orkney, said: “The Taste of Orkney Festival has brought together Orkney’s brilliant food and drink community, who’ve created a wonderful weekend programme that’ll offer visitors and locals a range of new and exciting food and drink experiences. It’s a real shame we’ve had to reschedule, but thanks to our supporters we’ll be going ahead next year and I know it’ll be an event worth waiting for.”

In the meantime, anyone looking to sample Orkney’s fantastic food and drink produce can take advantage of the new online sales portal on Orkney.com.

Mr Balfour said the new portal, which also covers local creative businesses, had seen a huge increase in activity since its recent launch and associated marketing campaign, with views up by over 1,000 per-cent.

He added: “The interest in the site has been remarkable and most welcome. Ultimately though, there’s no better way to experience our food and drink than in the place it was produced, and that’s why we’ve created the Taste of Orkney Festival.”

More details of The Taste of Orkney Festival 2021 will be available in the months leading up to the event online.


The Taste of Orkney Food Festival is supported by Event Scotland's Year of Coasts & Waters 2020 events fund

The Promoting Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020

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