THE POPULAR Shetland Rock Festival is set to take place for the last time this weekend as organiser Heavy Metal Buffet calls it quits.
The grassroots group has been hosting gigs, recording podcasts and shooting video since forming in 2012.
As previously revealed, its annual festival – due to take place at the Lerwick Legion over three nights this weekend – will close the curtain on the Buffet as its members focus on other projects.
The group, which features siblings Dirk and Marjolein Robertson alongside Jamie Dalziel and Vicky Arthur, is taking up five bands from south for the festival.
There will be around 25 local acts on the bill too and it’s perhaps the effect Heavy Metal Buffet has had on Shetland’s music scene that the group will be best remembered for.
They took over from where previous rock and metal bonanza Vunk Fest left off and have provided local bands – both up and coming and veteran – a vital platform to perform in front of large, enthusiastic audiences.
“In terms of what we have done for the rock scene, when we started it looked very differently, because we entered the Shetland rock scene off the back of Vunk Fest,” Dirk said.
“There was a lot more pub gigs going on and the Shetland metal scene was a lot less centralised around Lerwick I think when we started. What we did for the scene, although we didn’t mean to, was that we centralised it around Lerwick and around where is geographically close to our base of operations, and put it in the legion.
“There were a lot of other gigs going on all the time, but what we did I think was walk hand in the hand with the rock scene and gave it a new focus for the six years we existed.”
The idea for Heavy Metal Buffet originally came from a rock show Dirk and founding member Jamie Hatch hosted on Promote Shetland’s 60 North channel before they went it alone to create their own podcasts.
Their subsequent gigs have seen sold-out audiences of all ages enjoy live music, while they have also hosted events in neighbouring Orkney. Dirk has also created painted artwork to promote each band performing at the festivals over the years.
Over the last number of months, however, the crew has focused more on producing its own ‘HMB TV’ series, which is uploaded to social media and sees wacky episodes filmed in a mockumentary style.
It taps into the comedy Marjolein has been exploring in the last few years, with the Shetlander enjoying notoriety recently on the BBC Social online platform.
Tickets for this year’s Shetland Rock Festival, meanwhile, are on sale from High Level Music and the Legion itself, while the event will also be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.
Some of the acts on the line-up include visiting bands Vantage Point, Twin Heart and Electric Mother, while locally there will be a smorgasbord of wide-ranging talent from Nomadia and Quantana to Troppofunk, The Dirty Lemons and DJ Lyall.
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