Record-breaking week

All records were broken for audience numbers in this year’s Festival, when ended on Wednesday 12 September. Many events were completely sold out. Whether it was 10 in the morning or 9 at night, halls – and often large ones – were filled to overflowing.

Visitors came from many places, with a number travelling from long distances just to be there and enjoy it. They came from Edinburgh and Newcastle, Glasgow and Wrexham, Canada and Colorado, Australia and New Zealand. Speaking to them individually, it was quite remarkable to hear how far they had come, and great to hear how much they were enjoying the mix of talks, outings, discussions, workshops, exhibitions, food and drink and music.

A group of astronomy society members from around the north had come to attend the various night sky events and meet up with members of the new Orkney Astronomical Society.

The message was spread too by Orkney Wireless Museum, whose own amateur radio station GB2OWM had 243 contacts in 22 countries through the period of the Festival. From Latvia and Estonia to Malta and Spain, they heard about Orkney and the the Festival from the operating team. The Museum itself joined forces with the Museum of Communication in Burntisland is Fife to suppport Prof. Tom Stevenson’s Festival presentation of the story of marine communication.

We are already under way with the planning for next year when the dates will be similar – for 5-11 September 2013. And for more highlights from the 2012 Festival you could visit our Gallery and our Video Channel.