DF Concerts & Events, one of Britain’s largest concert promoters and owner’s of Glasgow’s famous King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, should guarantee a string of top quality acts at the £12 million Lerwick venue.
Local promoter Davie Gardner has also signed an agreement for his company Atlantic Edge Music Services to stage 20 concerts a year at the state of the art building at North Ness.
Shetland Arts director Gwilym Gibbons described the deal with DF as “a hugely exciting development in the life of this ambitious project”.
“DF Concerts & Events will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the success of Mareel and I believe Mareel will provide DF Concerts with a base in the UK's most northerly music venue,” Mr Gibbons said.
The deal will give Mareel early access to major agents, lining Shetland up as a warm-up venue for big acts ahead of national and European tours.
DF chief Geoff Ellis said he was delighted to be working with Shetland Arts. “Mareel is a beautiful venue set in a stunning location and will offer touring artists a unique live experience. We look forward to announcing a great bill of acts over the coming months.”
Mr Gardner has more experience than most in organising concerts in the isles, having staged many successful events of late in the Clickimin as Shetland attracts attention on the UK comedy and music circuit.
He said: “I'm delighted to have been asked by Shetland Arts to programme a series of events into the exciting and challenging project that is Mareel, as part of their overall monthly events programme.
“I also look forward to doing this in effective conjunction with others, both in and outwith Shetland, to ensure we deliver a dynamic, varied and popular programme that comfortably sits alongside other events in the venue and within the local community in general.”
Shetland Arts marketing officer Lisa Ward added: “We are very pleased to get to work with Davie Gardner and Atlantic Edge Music Services forming a strong locally-based partnership providing some of the programming for Mareel.
“I’m sure it will be a very fruitful partnership, providing a varied programme of events for the public’s enjoyment.”
Mareel is reaching the final stages of construction with Shetland Arts due to be handed the keys by builders DITT later this month, over one year behind schedule.