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Folk festival expands with boat gigs and circus

The Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl is set to become a venue during next month's Shetland Folk Festival - Photo: Austin Taylor

THIS year’s Shetland Folk Festival will feature acoustic sessions on the visiting Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl for the first time, as well as an appearance from a visiting international circus.

The event, now in its 37th year, will also launch a new online booking system in an effort to avoid the server crash it experienced in 2016.

The festival will take place between 27 and 30 April and two afternoon sessions featuring local acts will be held on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, a regular visitor to Shetland which is making the trip especially for the weekend.

Entry will be by donations and the boat’s crew will sell traditional Norwegian fish soup and refreshments.

Also due to appear through the weekend is a circus featuring acts like unicycling acrobats and dancers, while the group will also hold workshops.

The festival meanwhile will launch a new online booking system called Queue-It when tickets go on sale to early members on Monday at 6pm.

It will place people in a ‘first come first served’ queue during times of peak demand.

All remaining tickets and memberships will go on general sale from 3 April at 6pm.

Visiting acts due to play this year’s festival include Boston bluegrass outfit The Lonely Heartstring Band, Canadian trio Ten Strings and a Goat Skin and traditional Syrian musician Maya Youssef.