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Greetings from the Festival!

We’re delighted to say we'll be back in action with events in Orkney this year, in a fresh and lively format, including a new outdoor dimension.

We’ll have several talks spaced out daily at indoor venues, and a whole new range of outdoor events – walks and talks and workshops – from shore and seaweed activities to ancient astronomy at the Ring of Brodgar.

We’ll also have several online events each day, and are looking for local hotel and café spaces for watching socially with drinks and snacks.

The programme is almost complete, and should be online by late June. We will post updates of progress, with some advance details of speakers and events, on the Festival website with links through social media.
Visit Festival website for latest updates
Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022
We’ll have a rich range of stories to tell, thanks to EventScotland's excellent support. Two concerts in St Magnus Cathedral will celebrate astronomy anniversaries. One is the birth of Sir William Herschel, composer and astronomer. The other concert marks the birth of the poet John Donne, with links to the 17th-century astronomy revolution.

We’ll hear too about the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the wreck of whose ship Endurance has been found this year. To seek rescue for his crew he made an incredible voyage in a small boat through mountainous seas. We’ll also hear about the fascinating Orkney connections of the ship's captain.

There will be stories along the street of Stromness, in a collaboration with Stromness Museum bringing together marine science and local history. There's also hear the story of the Stronsay monster and a remarkable discovery that could provide a DNA clue.

And we’ll hear stories of tomorrow as a new field called transition engineering seeks to find paths to the future. We’ll also get a new perspective of the future from a science-fiction author and see a new film on the theme of transformation.
Celebrating Scapa Flow
This weekend we join up with the group who produce the annual Orkney Aviation Festival to explore aspects of the great naval anchorage. We’ll hear how it was guarded by an early radar station that in peacetime would provide Orkney's first television and community radio. We’ll also hear about wartime communications networks and about the ongoing work to preserve some wartime airfield buildings, and about the varied naval wrecks and scientific studies of them.

That’s on the evening of Friday 20 May, and the afternoon of Saturday 21 May, with all four events online, and readily accessible now or afterwards.
 
Diving on the anchor of the Brummer in Scapa Flow, part of Emily Turton's story
Celebrating Scapa Flow Programme
Embers into Sparx
We’re collaborating with a new project aimed at bringing innovative people and communities together. Six weekly online events will highlight new ideas and initiatives. Topics include space developments in Scotland and new approaches to regenerate the landscape and also the railways. The series starts at 7.30 pm this coming Monday, 23 May, with Out of 40, a vision of how remote and rural communities can link together to form a dynamic climate for new ideas and developments.
A new idea developed in Slovenia by Dr Stanko Blatnik is for smaller and remoter locations to build up into clusters of their own, with digital links bringing them together into a creative structure. Dr Howie Firth describes the concept, and how it might work for Scotland.
Embers into Sparx Programme
All these events are on our YouTube channel where you can access them freely at any time.
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