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Feast for fiddle fans

The String Sisters (pictured above) will visit Shetland in June before Fiddle Frenzy gets underway in July.

A JAM-PACKED programme of music has been announced for this year’s Fiddle Frenzy festival.

Organiser Shetland Arts has also confirmed that international collective The String Sisters will play their only European date of the year at Mareel in Lerwick in June.

This year’s Fiddle Frenzy will open with a gig at Mareel on Sunday 30 July with Haltadans, the High Level Orchestra, Kirsten Hendry, Andy Kain and the Ceilidh Puckle set to perform.

The following day will see a Shetland showcase of music and crafts at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick, with Eunice Henderson’s students and Mirka on the bill. Both nights will feature a session back at Mareel from 10pm.

At the Ollaberry Hall on Tuesday Ross Couper and Tom Oakes and the Northmavine Fiddle and Accordion Club will take to the stage, while a performance of the Papa Stour sword dance will also be held.

RANT, Kansa and the Shetland’s Heritage Fiddlers will perform at Mareel on the Wednesday, while at the same venue the following night there will be a packed bill including the likes of Barry Nisbet and Friends, Andrew Gifford and Grant Nicol.

At the Bressay Hall on the Friday, Danse McCabre, Rack n Ruin, Martha & Ewan Thomson and other local fiddlers will perform, while Jenna Reid & Kevin MacKenzie, Hjaltibonhoga, Peter Gear and Ewen Thomson will take to the stage at Mareel on the Saturday to close the festival.

There will be a farewell session in the Mareel bar the next day between 1pm and 2pm.

Tickets for concerts and workshops are available now via Shetland Arts’ box office.

Meanwhile, The String Sisters will bring a global feel to Mareel on 9 June as they mix together Nordic and Celtic traditions.

The fiddle band was started by Shetlander Catriona Macdonald nearly 20 years ago and the ten-strong group also features the likes of Norway’s Annbjørg Lien Emma Härdelin from Sweden and Liz Carrroll from the US.

The String Sisters will also be recording their new album at Mareel, which is due to be launched in October.

Shetland Arts programme manager Floortje Matthew said the concert offers an “exciting chance to see a truly exceptional line-up of world-class musicians”.

Tickets for the concert are available now.