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Rock festival’s last hurrah

Heavy Metal Buffet's Shetland Rock Festival in typically energetic form back in 2014. Photo: Chris Brown

A POPULAR rock festival which has been held in Lerwick over the last five years is set to end as its organisers focus on new projects.

Heavy Metal Buffet’s annual festival has been an important fixture on the isles’ music calendar as visiting acts and local artists performed to often sold-out crowds.

However, this year’s Shetland Rock Festival – due to take at the Lerwick Legion over three days at the end of August – will be the last.

Heavy Metal Buffet, which features siblings Dirk and Marjolein Robertson alongside Jamie Dalziel and Vicky Arthur, wants to “end it with a bang”.

The foursome will also stop their prolific podcast and YouTube video output.

“While we are bringing the Buffet to it’s end, we are excited to see how the alternative music scene continues to thrive and grow,” the group said.

Heavy Metal Buffet's Marjolein Robertson, Jamie Dalziel and Dirk Robertson.

“We will be watching for the next generation of promoters to pick up from where we left off.

“We have run the podcast now for over six years, the YouTube channel for just under six years and this is the fifth festival. We love the Buffet, we love what we do.

“However, after six years of working with it we’ve decided to end it with a bang so we can focus on new projects.”

This year’s line-up will see acts like ska-punks The Hostiles, Ayr alt-rockers Twin Heart and Orkney’s Electric Mother take the trip up north, while Shetland will be represented by a host of groups including Nomadia, Big Time Quell, The Dirty Lemons and Lisa Ward and the XYY.

The festival is highly regarded as a vital platform for emerging Shetland rock acts to showcase their music to a wider audience.

“As ever, we’re extremely excited about this year’s lineup,” the Buffet team added.

“The reason we started the Shetland Rock Festival was as selfish as we wanted to put on a gig with a lineup that we wanted to see.

“There are bands on this year’s line up from south that we’ve been listening to for years that we have wanted to bring up to show everyone, for instance Vantage Point, we’re really excited for everyone to see them.”

The Buffet crew feel they have achieved their aims of promoting local and Scottish rock music through their podcast and their numerous events, which included four Shetland acts performing in Orkney at the weekend.

“In terms of the festival we wanted to promote an all ages, all backgrounds, welcoming environment for people just to enjoy alternative music, and to celebrate our local bands and introduce the audience to bands from afar.

“This we feel has been achieved and that is in huge thanks to the bands and the crowd themselves, there’s always been a great harmony in the room. We hope to serve that up one final time.”

More details about this year’s Shetland Rock Festival can be found here, while ticket information will be released soon.

 

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