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What's On //  SheepFest'23

Find out what's on, where and when at our Summer Programme

(* all workshops and events are free unless stated. We recommend bringing cash to paid events)

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Rebuilding Schedule

Daily, weekdays

Our weekly rebuilding schedule consist of two daily sessions, each consisting of 3hrs, with a 2hr lunch-break to explore the island.

You'll know when the session is done by the ringing of the beloved SheepFest bell!

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SheepFest volunteer Raymie Peace, heart stone
SheepFest bell ready to signal the session's end
SheepFest volunteers enjoy the sun
SheepFest volunteers rebuild the ancient sheepdykeg
Music from Raymie Peace an Heather Woodbridge at SheepFest

Wednesday 26th July

Welcome Evening

8pm, Bird Observatory Bar

Come and celebrate the first day of rebuilding at SheepFest'23!

A friendly, everybody-welcome wind down after Day One. Have a chat with your fellow volunteers and find out more about the wonderful island of North Ronaldsay.

Thursday 27th July

Felting Workshop

8pm, Community Centre

Join island resident and native-wool artist Helen Galland of Woolly-Wally fame at our hugely popular Weaving workshop, and learn how to weave using North Ronaldsay wool. Fun for everyone.

Weaving workshop at SheepFest, North Ronaldsay
SheepFest musicians getting the crowd going at the dance

Friday 28th July

Dance practice

8pm, Bird Observatory Bar.

New to Scottish dancing? Get your ceilidh dance moves down at this practice session before tomorrow evening's big dance!

Already a pro? Share your tips and dancing tricks :)

Saturday 29th July

Football match -
Residents vs Visitors

Kick-off 2:30pm, The Links.

It doesn't get more competitive than this much-loved and highly-anticipated yearly football match. 

They've played in beautiful sun, they've played through torrential downpours. They've won, they've lost, and last year they drew... who will be triumphant in 2023?

SheepFest Residents vs Visitors football match
SheepFest football spectators enjoy a burger in the rain, post-match

Saturday 29th July

North Ronaldsay Trust BBQ

Immediately after the football match, The Links 


Whether you're a player or a spectator, support the island's charitable trust with a well-earned burger and ice-cream post-match (we can confirm that a soggy burger in the rain tastes just as good, but here's hoping for sunshine!) 

Saturday 29th July

Island Dance

8pm, Community Centre


It's not just a highlight of SheepFest but of our whole year! Join in the revelry with volunteers, residents, and native and visiting musicians. 

Will you make it to midnight and Auld Lang Syne? 

SheepFest Umami tasting session

Sunday 30th July

Umami Tasting Talk

8pm, Bird Observatory Bar 

Join island chef Louise (of the fabulous Lighthouse Cafe) as she takes us on an umami taste journey, including native North Ronaldsay mutton - world-renowned and highly sought-after for its unique and gamey flavour. Vegetarian options available. 

SheepFest felting workshop, North Ronaldsay

Monday 31st July

Felting Workshop

8pm, Community Centre

Join artist Helen Galland (from our favourite crafting store Woolly Wally) as she teaches the beautiful art of felting, using native North Ronaldsay fleece.  You can even take your creation home as a souvenir!

SheepFest North Ronaldsay sheepdyke heart

Tuesday 1st August

Wild Card evening

8pm, TBC

As many of our volunteers will attest from over the years, sometimes the magic appears from not knowing what's coming next! And sometimes it's as much a surprise to us as it is to you :)

What we can guarantee, is that a great time will be had by all.

Wednesday 2nd August

Quiz & End of Festival Party

8pm, Bird Observatory Bar 

The end of SheepFest is always bittersweet - joints are aching and hands are rough, but the soul feels alive with the warmth of a job well done.

To keep spirits up, grab some pals and form a team for our annual Quiz (prizes to be won), followed by music and tales of a fantastic week, shared between old and new friends. 

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