2020 will be the Year of Coasts and Waters in Scotland and we will have various topics about the sea and islands.
Programme preparations are going well and we will have a series of updates from January onwards.
Many ideas and offers have been coming in, and we are trying to fit in as many as we can to the space available.
We hope to have the programme finalised through March, and to have it posted up here for the start of April, with tickets hen going on sale in May.
The dates for next Festival are 3-9 September 2020.
The Festival programme will again have a foraging dimension, with outings, talks and workshops.
This is through collaboration with the new Foraging Fortnight, the LEADER-funded initiative which aims to encourage people of all ages to become more aware of the benefits of wild plants around us.
Orkney is one of five Scottish regions to participate, along with Moray, Fife, Lanarkshire, and Forth Valley and Lomond.
Foraging events will provide an added dimension to the Festival’s programme from 3-9 September, and also cover the weekends before and after.
Among the visiting speakers for 2020 will be Zoe Christiansen from the island of Træna in northern Norway. The Træna group of islands lie on the Arctic Circle, around 33 miles offshore, and they have developed an edible seaweed industry, harvesting and selling hand-picked seaweeds.
Foraging Fortnight events will encourage adherence to Scotland’s Outdoor Access Code and organisers have put together foraging guidelines to ensure that those taking part are doing so in a safe and responsible way.
We have video highlights from previous years to enjoy. There is Irish music, Highland traditional medicine, the story of ‘Big Bill and the Guns of Alamein’, and memories of the childhood of Prof. Ron Drever, who did so much to make possible the detection of gravitational waves.