The UK’s northernmost Blues Festival, held in Orkney, once again proved a major success. With a mix of local and national/international blues artists, this year’s event was hailed as the best by some attendees who have been coming for over two decades. The welcoming atmosphere was only matched by the high-quality performances. VIP passes allowed festival-goers to meet the artists and enjoy a special experience, including encounters with Blues Matters representatives.

Dylan Pepper, in his second year as festival manager, skillfully balanced his role with playing drums for The Andy Taylor Group. Organizing a festival in such a remote location comes with its logistical challenges, from stage equipment to artist hospitality, but everything appeared to run smoothly.




The festival kicked off with a meet-and-greet at the Royal Hotel in Stromness, exclusively for VIP ticket holders. Attendees mingled with artists, and Highland Park Distillery representatives offered drams, creating a sense of community and camaraderie. Renowned performers like Rob Tognoni, Kyla Brox, and The Cinelli Brothers were present, adding to the festival’s charm.

The music lineup included The Animals and Friends, The Cinelli Brothers, Kyla Brox, and Rob Tognoni, along with The Violet Hours, Chris Preston, and Helen May, who graced every venue with their music.



Educational workshops led by Rob Tognoni, Tom JJ Jones, and Mike Hellier offered valuable insights into blues dynamics. An open mic jam session at the Royal Hotel featured local musicians, while Stromness Legion hosted bands like Stoatfinger and Driftwood Cowboys. On Hoy Island, Kyla Brox delivered a memorable set at the Gable End Theatre.

The main event at Stromness Town Hall featured The Violet Hours, The Rob Tognoni Band, The Blues Brothers Show, and The Cinelli Brothers, impressing the audience with their eclectic musical styles and harmonies.


The final day of the festival brought a mix of talent to the stage, including The Violet Hours, John Dearness, The Andy Taylor Group, Almost Blue, Bluetones’42, and The Cinelli Brothers. Rob Tognoni’s surprise performance of “Pretty Vacant” added an exciting twist.

The festival concluded with a grand finale at Stromness Town Hall, featuring local talent like Craig Rendall and the captivating Kyla Brox. The Animals and Friends closed the event with a classic, professional, and highly entertaining show, leaving the audience enthralled.

The Orkney Blues Festival, organized by dedicated volunteers, continues to be a standout event. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience it in the future!

For more information, visit: Website: Orkney Blues Festival Facebook: Orkney Blues Festival on Facebook