Tis the season for rocking around something - UPDATED 24/12/18!

Now with extra Tribe, Coop and Genuine Draft! And more Draft and Whalps! Plus Mabel Wong in Lyness, and Razormouth stepping in for illness-hit Electric Mother on the 30th.

As is traditional, Orkney Live Wire have collated a list of festive gigs for you, our hard rocking amigos. If we have missed anything out, please contact us. And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Friday 21st December             Genuine Draft - Fusion (£6 entry)

Saturday 22nd December         Rocker – Motorhoose
Saturday 22nd December         Drones – Murray Arms, SMH
Saturday 22nd December         Ian Cooper Experience – Pomona Inn, Finstown

Sunday 23rd December            Genuine Draft – St Ola Hotel

Wednesday 26th December      Skeldo - Kirkwall RBL
Wednesday 26th December      Boxing night at the Sands with Rocker, Rum Ham, Wayward...

Thursday 27th December          Bad Apple - Motorhoose
Thursday 27th December          Will Atkinson - The Old Library (£12+booking fee)
Thursday 27th December          Bigsy Whalps - St Ola Hotel 

Friday 28th December              Skelray – Motorhoose
Friday 28th December              Shogun - The Old Library (£12+booking fee)
Friday 28th December              Bigsy Whalps – Torvhaug

Saturday 29th December          The Cartel - Motorhoose
Saturday 29th December          The Chair - The Old Library (£12+booking fee)
Saturday 29th December          The Tribe - Torvhaug 
Saturday 29th December          Mabel Wong - Anchor Bar, Lyness


Sunday 30th December            Skelray – Torvhaug (teatime)
Sunday 30th December            Razormouth + Angersay – Skippers
Sunday 30th December            Bigsy Whalps – Motorhoose
Sunday 30th December            Rum Ham + Wayward - St Ola Hotel

Monday 31st December            Wrigley Sisters Hogmanay Concerts – Reel (£16)
Monday 31st December            Bigsy Whalps - Helgis

Friday 4th January 2019          Skelray – St Ola Hotel


Added 19th December 2018, updated 21st December twice, and 24th December



Deadline for visiting bands now passed...

The application deadline for 2019's visiting bands has now passed, and the deliberation must begin. But if you are a local act and fancy playing, there is still plenty of time to get in touch for pub gigs at the 2019 Orkney Rock Festival, running from 29th August to 1st September- see here for contact details.

Added 19th December 2018

Same time next year?

We're up for it. See below.

If you want to remember when the Festival starts, just note that the Main Event is three weeks after the County Show. So the first night is three weeks after the Dounby Show, i.e. three weeks after the Thursday before the second Saturday in August. What could be simpler?


Added 7/9/18

If you weren't there, you missed it

Whew! What a weekend! Kirkwall certainly knows the Orkney Rock Festival happened, the buzz the whole weekend was fantastic. 

After we decompress, we'll be in touch about our post-festival survey, which we'd appreciate if you can fill in. First though, lets say thanks.

Thanks to all of our fantastic visiting acts, The Sea Atlas, Crooked Little Vein, 1968, Bitter Divide (who drove from Andover and back to headline - respect!), Portalooth, and Counterfall, and of course also our friends from Shetland, Ten Tonne Dozer, Throat Locust, Forgotten Sons and DeLorean.

Thanks also to our brilliant local bands and volunteers who contribute so much to the festival, not least loaning us their gear, and their expertise! Our Sound People are the soundest of people. 

The whole idea behind it was to stimulate the local rock scene, and with new bands (and especially new young bands) performing at the festival for their first time this year, it seems to be working. Our longer established bands just keep getting better too- what a standard of music we have here.

The pubs and venues and our sponsors, Northlink and The Orcadian, are essential partners and we are very appreciative of their ongoing support. We also are greatly appreciative of everybody who donated raffle prizes, and we'll giving you a shout out on the Live Draw on Wednesday, and listing here and on the website.

Thanks to Sinclair Office Supplies, A Yarn, and The Orcadian Bookshop for selling our tickets, Trek and Travel for t-shirt printing, John Kemp's for embroidery, and Kerry Cooper for design.

And to all the people who come to the gigs, go to the Main Event, put money in the buckets and buy raffle tickets, thank you most of all. The Festival is the sum of its parts and you help make it happen too, you are part of the family.

Let's do it all again next year.

The Committee

[Pictured: Orkney Live Wire commitee and volunteers plus Main Event bands after Saturday's Main Event]

Added 3/9/18


2018 schedule

Download the schedule as a pdf here

Check out the visiting bands here

NB Bless are unable to travel up, so their place in the programme will be taken by... Counterfall

Added 29/8/18


Check out the visiting acts!

Find out all about our stunning visiting acts on the newly updated 2018 Visiting Bands page. I'm excited about the festival just having created the page, can't wait to feel the floor shake when these bands are playing live in front of me. Don't believe me? Check them out.

Festival schedule and tee shirts at the printers, local band profiles in The Orcadian tomorrow, it's getting close. Check back here regularly in the run up to see what's new.

Added 1/8/18


Orkney Live Wire is a group of music enthusiasts who aim to promote and support live music in and around the county.

Orkney Live Wire rallied together in the summer of 2014 to organise Orkney's first Rock Festival, held in early Sept 2014- the festival was a massive success showcasing local artists and along with visiting acts from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Shetland and inspired the organisers to continue in their promotion of live music throughout the Orkney Islands.

Upcoming events

As well as the Festival. Orkney Live Wire promotes gigs throughout the year, notably on County Show night, at Halloween, the New Year, and other times the fancy takes us. Keep an eye on our News and Events pages for what is coming up.

This year saw the fifth Orkney Rock Festival taking place over 3 days from 30th August-2nd September- more details on the pages for 2018 Festival.

PA Hire

Any profits are wholly reinvested in encouraging live music in Orkney. We've invested in a PA, drum kit, and bass and guitar cabs to make it easier to organise gigs and attract visiting bands.

The PA is available for hire, with or without sound engineering. Find out more here.

Social media

We have pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube that we want to make more of - they are linked to in our banner, above. Help us by taking picture and videos and posting them on our pages, and tag us using #orkneyrockfestival and #orkney_livewire

And link to us and cross post our pages and events using the AddThis sidebar on the left.

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