• Pub session at the Orkney Folk Festival

Music

It is often said that music reflects the soul of a community and this is so true of Orkney.

Our children are encouraged to play instruments from an early age, as generations have done before them. Music is in the blood here and, in schools across the islands, emerging young talent is helping to preserve this reputation. Orkney has a rich and diverse musical heritage and, in particular, a long tradition of fiddle and accordion music. Today, groups including the Orkney Traditional Music Project and the Orkney Strathspey & Reel Society keep the music alive and ensure that the unique sound of the islands is introduced to new audiences.

Orkney's stature is such that the islands have forged strong cultural links with musicians from the world over, many of whom perform at the famous St Magnus International Festival held in June each year.

While we have lots of home grown musicians performing regularly in venues like The Reel in Kirkwall and in our pubs, we also enjoy a full calendar of visiting acts. Venues for these include the Pickaquoy Centre, the Sound Archive and the Orkney Theatre.

Here, anything goes musically and all tastes are catered for. Each year, festivals celebrating folk, blues, rock and ceilidh music attract large and loyal audiences. And in pubs and village halls throughout Orkney, there's always something going on. Orcadians take little persuasion to strike up a tune. Every event needs live music - a wedding, Christmas party, or simply a get together of friends celebrating the fact that the weekend has begun! Bring an instrument. You're welcome to join us!