In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Orkney International Science Festival is being given a new format for this September.
We’re responding to the challenge by joining the growing pattern of home delivery, to bring the entire Festival to everyone who would like to access it, wherever they are.
2020 will be the 30th year of the Festival which is a special reason to try out new ideas, and reach even more people. The plans are currently being revised, with an overall vision of expressing the true Festival spirit, in fresh, lively and interactive formats that enable every home to feel a part of it.
We’re examining every aspect of the programme to see how it can best be expressed in a virtual/online/digital/home-accessed format – talks, outings, walks, workshops, and events with music, or food and drink.
It has long been a vision to expand the Festival online to enable greater participation, and we’ve made various experiments in previous years with videoing and live streaming. For the new situation this year will be able to build on these as part of the big move forward.
Once developed, the infrastructure for online delivery will be in place for future years, to accompany site delivery in Orkney when this is able to return again.
We are looking forward to being back soon with updates of progress and plans!
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.