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Features / Day of live music in solidarity with refugees

A DAY of live music from Shetland and beyond will be held on Saturday to raise funds for the refugee crisis.

A plethora of acts ranging from hi-jinx Scottish folksters Skerryvore to locals Lisa Ward and The Dirty Lemons will perform in Islesburgh Community Centre’s Room 16 in Lerwick between 1pm and 9pm.

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Also on the varied Solidarity Through Music bill are Donald Anderson Band, Bluemelts, Full Swing and punk-rockers Autopilot.

Alan McKay & Robert Bennett, Gary Cleaver and Annalie Irvine will feature too.

The gig is free entry, but money raised on the day through donations will go to Re-Act Scotland, Doctors of the World UK and the World Food Programme.

Cleaver has created a custom-designed guitar to auction, with a raffle – featuring donations from a slew of Shetland shops such as Harry’s, Boots, Klaize and High Level Music – also set to feature.

The raffle’s main prize is a mattress worth up to £500 donated by the Bargain Centre/Home Furnishings.

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The day is being hosted by Shetland Supports Refugees, who aim to facilitate the integration of refugees into the local community.

The group formed a number of weeks ago in response to the current refugee crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war-torn countries for Europe.

Folk festival favourites Skerryvore are taking time out of a Shetland tour to perform at the event, with the group bookending the slot with a Mareel gig in Lerwick on Friday night and a show in Aith on Saturday.

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Guitarist and vocalist Alec Dalglish said the plight of refugees is “unimaginable”.

“No human being should have to fear for their own life and flee a place which is supposed to be their home,” he added.

“If we can do anything at all to show our support or to help in any way then of course we’re very keen to be involved.

“To see small communities come together and show their support in such a way is inspirational and we’re delighted to be part of the Solidarity Through Music event.”

In September, Shetland Islands Council agreed to play its part – if required – In housing refugees as part of the government’s vulnerable persons relocation scheme.

On a pro-rata basis, Shetland would take in just seven refugees between now and 2020 as the UK government has pledged to bring just 20,000 Syrian refugees from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to the country.

On 13 October, Shetland Supports Refugees coordinated a flower laying ceremony at the waters of Clickimin Loch in memory of those who have died during the crisis.

In late September, fellow group Shetland Solidarity with Refugees packed two trailers full of aid destined for refugee camps around Europe and beyond.

A total of 114 sleeping bags, 80 tents and 57 bedrolls and ground sheets were donated by locals, as well as clothes and food.

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