PROGRAMME 2021

ONLINE EVENTS

Welcome to the Festival! If you’ve missed the events of 2021’s programme, this is where you can catch up on them. Almost everything was online, apart from a daily programme of wildlife walks on Orkney’s coasts and hills, with varied wildlife and sometimes spectacular views.

2-8 SEPT

2021

There were over 80 events, with topics ranging from genetics to geology, from relativity to renewables, and from archaeology to the Arctic. You can browse through events in the various themed sections on this page, or the day-by-day listings, or just go direct to our YouTube channel.

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There’s a new film on Orkney shore life and seals, and one on the massive forces that have shaped the Orkney coast over millions of years. You can read about more of the background to some of the topics and speakers in our online magazine Frontiers. It’s all free to access and enjoy.

TALKS

How to tackle climate change, from soil regeneration to alternative power for flights and ferries. How they fought smallpox and Spanish flu, and new research into genetics and Covid resistance. Cave bears in Ice Ages. News of gravitational waves, and exploring space, and new ideas on the origins of life and the nature of time.

TALKS

YEAR OF COASTS AND WATERS

Rowing the Northwest Passage. Building tidal turbines. Studying Arctic whales, the sailing power of tall ships, the life of the shore, the shapes of Orkney’s sea-cliffs …

YCW 2021 EVENTS
PROGRAMME 2021
Thursday 2 September
Friday 3 September
Saturday 4 September
Sunday 5 September
Monday 6 September
Tuesday 7 September
Wednesday 8 September
WALKS IN ORKNEY 2021
FORAGING FORTNIGHT
COMPETITIONS

MUSIC

There’s music inspired by astronomy … influence by Nordic landscape and history … and influenced by climate and environment issues.

MUSIC EVENTS

WORKSHOPS

Build a satellite model. See bees through a microscope. Make paper from natural materials – and compost for plants. Navigate by the stars.

WORKSHOPS

LUNCHTIMES

Guests speak about electric cars with in-wheel motors, new types of tourism and night-sky sights, with live news from Birsay and North Ronaldsay.

LUNCHTIMES

FILMS

Take a long slow walk through Rackwick, with past and present Hoy voices. Explore the life of the shore. Wonder about the sea and its transformation.

FILMS

FORAGING FORTNIGHT

Find out about the goodness in those wild plants we often disparage as weeds. Identify them for foraging, and making compost, with kitchen waste as well. Join us for lunch with some foraged food recipes.

FORAGING FORTNIGHT

ONLINE EXHIBITIONS

See Swona in 360-degree photospheres, with its seals, flowers and feral cattle. Travel around Orkney’s islands with Orkney Camera Club to see lighthouses and ships, summer skies and winter storms. Go back in time through the stones of the street in Stromness, to the days of Lake Orcadie.

EXHIBITIONS

SPECIAL EVENTS

We open with an Orkney-Slovenia link and round off with a ceilidh. In between there’s late-evening stargazing and a plaque unveiling to a great Orkney naturalist.

SPECIAL EVENTS

FESTIVAL

UPDATES

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Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022

1-7 SEPT

2022

Plans are taking shape for the 32nd Festival, and we’ll be posting update here.

First of all the dates – the seven days of 1-7 September 2022.

For the format, we’re still taking stock of the situation, and it’s looking like we will have a hybrid format, a mix of online and on-the-ground, and we hope to have worked out the exact details by early spring 2022.

We’re finding it a very stimulating challenge, and we’re hoping to come up with a very lively and fresh mix of events. We’re looking forward to having more details to share soon.

And elsewhere on this site, you can find more about our background and past festivals, and about Orkney itself.

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