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26 September 20172018 Rock Festival dates announced!

Announcement time!! Orkney Live Wire are proud to announce the 31st August, 1st and 2nd of September as the dates for the 2018 Orkney Rock Festival

Visiting acts are invited to submit applications by sending a short bio, photo and links to youtube, soundcloud, deezer etc to

Closing date for applications is February 28th 2018. 


12 September 2017Relive the 2017 Festival

Whittled down from 2000 photos here is a short revisit of the Festival.

Apologies to Fit To Work and Electric Mother who do not appear here, due our diligent committee photographer Claire doing door duty during their sets!

And we are still looking for Festival Feedback - see previous news story.

05 September 2017We're looking for Festival feedback

And writing 'Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee' in every box is witty, but not helpful.

'Who said anything about boxes?' I hear you ask. Well, I was coming onto that.

The boxes in question are in the Orkney Rock Festival Feedback form, which you can access here:

If you were at the Festival in any capacity, or even incapacitated, we'd like to hear what you thought of it. Please take a few minutes to feed back your views.


The Orkney Live Wire committee

02 September 2017The Main Event is nigh!

Day 1 was a stormer, there can't have been a Friday night like that in The Toon for at least an year. Brilliant vibe, brilliant crowds brilliant performances. How can we top that?

How about more pubs gigs in the Ola until 5, and from 2.30 until way past midnight the all-ages Main Event with visiting acts and local favourites. Facepainting! Merchandising! 

Tickets £15 on the door, under twelves get in free!

Let's go.

01 September 2017Saturday tattoo offer

What other festival gives you things like this?

01 September 2017Torv schedule not juggled

Remember when we said that the Friday schedule for the Torv had been rearranged? That was just a dream, the original order stands viz. Easties/Rotters/Suspects. Full schedule and times here.

31 August 2017Rock festival kicks off - see bands, buy tickets!

The 2017 Orkney Rock Festival kicks off today with performances from Saltfishfilty and Rocker in the Torv (see Upcoming  Events), so get along and ease yourself into a punishing (in a good way) weekend a day earlier.

Tickets for The Main Event are available from the Orcadian Bookshop in Kirkwall, Sinclair Office Supplies in Stromness or online at The Main event schowcases visiting and local bands and takes place in The Neuk (formerly Matchies) all day on Saturday, tickets £15, under twelves are free! Pub gigs are 18 and over only.

Raffle tickets are now also on sale, find out more here.

And there's merchandise, available at The Main Event and soon from our online store. T-shirts this year are a stylish yellow design on black.

Remember ticket and merch sales are what will let us do this again next year. Support your local Rock Festival!

26 August 2017Festival schedule published!

The schedule has now been finalised and is published below. 40 performances across 3 days and 5 venues in Kirkwall. Free pub gigs for 18 year olds and older, and the ticketed Main Event on Saturday for all ages, with under 15s free! Face painting will be available I understand.

Tickets for the all day Main Event in The Neuk (aka Matchmakers) at the Albert Hotel are only £15. Available from the Orcadian Bookshop in Kirkwall, Sinclair Office Supplies in Stromness, and online at

If you enjoy live music please buy tickets for the Main Event, raffle tickets, and contribute to the donation buckets, so we can do this bigger and even better next year.

17 August 20172017 Rock Festival Tickets on sale now!

Delighted to say that the tickets are on sale now! See poster below for more details. 

Tickets are only £15 and gain access to the all day Main Event in The Neuk (aka Matchmakers) at the Albert Hotel. Available from the Orcadian Bookshop in Kirkwall, Sinclair Office Supplies in Stromness, and online at

Note also...

Our chosen charity this year is Orkney Deaf Children's Society, and they will share in the proceeds from this year's Rock Festival


The Main Event and the sales of raffle tickets make the difference between future events happening or not happening , and whether they are big or small. Please buy tickets to see the excellent acts at the Main Event, as well as enjoying the pub gigs where there will be the opportunity to buy raffle tickets and make donations!

Help us promote the Festival

Please download, print, and put up our poster- a high res version can be downloaded here.

And finally...

Thanks to all the venues and the brilliant local and visiting acts for playing - it's your enthusiasm and generosity that keeps us going through three busy days!


09 August 2017County Show Night Dance

Orkney Live Wire once again comes up trumps with a Show Night Dance to enjoy, with Shetland's Scaldin Bragg, in the newly refurbished Matchmakers, or The Neuk as it has been renamed.

Anyone who saw them at last years Rock Festival will remember how much fun they were. Saying frantic folk shenanigans in a punk shaped pint glass, a six piece band with a rock back bone (drums, bass, guitar, and vocals) with a dressing of folk (mandolin, banjo, and fiddle), doesn't quite do them justice.

Their gigs are always a great laugh and they aim to get the whole audience up and dancing.

Tickets are on sale from Grooves or the Albert Hotel, or on the door on the night if you're sharp. £8, 10.30pm - 1am


07 August 2017Rock Festival visiting bands announced!

Along with a host of local artists, this year sees the largest number of visiting acts to ever perform at the festival. Nine bands from all across the country will be travelling to Orkney to add a little extra flame to the fire, as the rock festival celebrates its fourth year.

Saturday, September 2, will see six of these acts take to the stage at Matchmakers, or The Neuk at the Albert Hotel if you are a bit more modren, for The Main Event, the ticketed gig that is the showcase for the festival, and the means of letting it all happen again in the future- get you tickets in advance, and we'll announce here when they go on sale.

Check the The Bands page for more info, links and clips

This ticketed gig will include performances from:

The King Lot

This rock trio from the heart of Scotland, comprising Jason Sweeney, Chris Gillon
and Jay Moir, straddle a multitude of rock styles. Melodic, with a hard rock edge, they
are fast becoming known as ‘masters of earwormery’.
With their second album release in the works, the trio be treating the Orkney crowd
to a selection of their latest tunes

Fit To Work

Comprised of four Orcadian old school buddies, reunited and based in the Central Belt, Fit To Work will be dishing out lethal hardcore punk, so get your earplugs at the ready!

Dripping with venomous political invective, this self-described Quasi-Autonomous, Non-Governmental Punk Act is the sum of Harry Giles (vocals), Daniel Firth (guitar), Duncan Harcus (bass) and Iain Stewart (drums).

No Sweat

Shetland’s longest performing rock band will be thrilling the Kirkwall crowd with a selection of their well-crafted original material. Formed in Yell, back in 1980, this band has supported the likes of Status Quo, Showaddywaddy and Roddy Hart.

Trongate Rum Riots

Hailing from Glasgow, a city soaked in salty maritime tradition, this band originally formed as a sea-shanty band with hopes of reviving that rich and emotive form of music. Over the past four years, however, the band has evolved to incorporate the many influences its troupe of musicians bring on board. With a style ranging from sweaty punk to dirty folk, this eight-piece riot will be bringing their powerful style of joyous chaos to The Main Event this September.

Forgotten Sons

This four-piece force from Shetland, consisting of Birdy Burgess on lead vocals, Sandy Middleton on guitar and vocals, Danny Carter on bass and John Gair on drums is expected to deliver high-energy rock at its most elemental.
With melodic and distorted riffs, topped with harmonies and drum fills to make your heart explode, their sound shows inspiration from a wide range of sources, including Alkaline Trio, The Gaslight Anthem, and Biffy Clyro.

Iron Altar 

Formed during the cold dark winter nights of Edinburgh at the end of 2015, this band is a brutal combination of old-school and modern technical metal. With influences from Black Sabbath and Corrosion Of Conformity to Lamb Of God and Mastodon, Iron Altar aims to deliver sonic devastation to all at The Main Event.

On top of The Main Event, Orkney Rock Festival will also be treating local rockers to a further three visiting acts:

Aberdeen band Counterfall, lead by Orcadian guiarist Taylor Pirie; Portalooth, an Edinburgh fusion of funk and metal; and Delorean, an 80s-inspired pop and disco riot, are all set to play the various pub gigs throughout Kirkwall.