Kirkwall's Festival of Light 2024

Kirk Green, Kirkwall

Kirkwall BID Unveils ‘Festival of Light’ Spectacular to light up February

Kirkwall Business Improvement District (BID) is planning to get the year off to a bright start with a dazzling Festival of Light and Fire Dancing, from February 1st to 4th, 2024.

The festival, which is subject to OIC licence approval, will feature an arresting array of light installations, fire performances, and artistic displays each evening over the four days. As the festival unfolds across Kirkwall's historic streets, residents and visitors can expect to be immersed in a spectacle of colour, movement, and creativity.

The application for a licence is now with the local authority and a decision is expected by January.

Laura Bruce, Kirkwall BID Manager says: “This illuminating event is designed to infuse warmth and vibrancy into the dark winter nights of Orkney, creating a magical atmosphere to attract locals and visitors alike.”

The Festival will serve as a platform to support local businesses, with participating shops, restaurants, and cafes extending their operating hours, offering special promotions and discounts to festival-goers. This initiative seeks to stimulate the local economy and underscores the importance of supporting businesses within the Orkney community. The BID will be promoting the event to Shetland and Caithness as well as locally.

From late December, the BID business’ windows will be brightly dressed with magical light structures created by UHI Orkney’s Art Department students in readiness for the festival.

UHI Orkney’s Rona McNicol said: “The event will showcase some of the artistic talent within the community and foster a sense of unity, collaboration and creativity during the colder, darker months. It’s fantastic to be able to involve our students in a community-wide project with Kirkwall BID.”

Laura Bruce explained: “We were delighted to receive support from the National Lotto Fund that has made this partnership possible.”

By bringing light to the heart of Orkney, Kirkwall BID hopes to encourage community engagement, boost morale, and remind us that the lighter days are coming around again.

Kirkwall BID Chair Cheryl Chapman says: "The Festival of Light and Fire Dancing will celebrate Kirkwall Town Centre’s vibrancy, talent and enterprise. We invite everyone to join us in this spectacular event, that aims to give everybody a lift during the dark winter nights of Orkney.”

The Festival of Light and Fire Dancing will kick off on February 1st, with festivities continuing through February 4th, 2024. Kirkwall BID encourages residents and visitors alike to mark their calendars and immerse themselves in this extraordinary celebration.


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This project was part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney Leader 2007-13 Programme.