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Arts / Folk Festival local artist line-up announced

Shetland Folk Festival has announced its local artist line-up and concert programme with this year’s thirty ninth festival even bigger with an increase in concerts, capacity and a range of one-off special showcase events.

Over forty local acts will perform across the length of the islands (from Bigton to Baltasound) as well as the 15 visiting artists announced last month. The local line-up gives a nod to the past, present and future of Shetland music featuring “weel kent” local favourites alongside brand new bands and performers.

Fresh from their long-awaited debut album, The Rowan Tree, Americana-inspired Kansa will perform at Clickimin on the Saturday evening with Blazin’ Fiddles, JP Cormier & Tim Edey, May Erlewine and Kabantu.

Local artists Claire White and Robbie Leask are performing.

One of “Yell’s best exports”, Rack’ n’ Ruin, celebrate their twenty fifth anniversary by performing alongside Elephant Sessions and the Anxo Lorenzo Trio in the Brae Hall on the Saturday at an additional standing concert this year. Their fiddler and singer, Barry Nisbet will also be showcasing his solo work at the Festival Club on Friday at a special ‘Stories behind the Music’ concert curated by local musician and broadcaster Claire White. This will also feature Shetland Fiddlers Society, Papa Stour Sword Dancers and songs from White’s new album, A Lasses Trust in Providence.

‘Blazin’ a Trail’ concert at Mareel on the Saturday afternoon aims to showcase Shetland’s current and former budding talent with Quarff’s Jenna Reid with Blazin Fiddles on the same bill as the fledgling Scandi Fiddlers, High Level Hot Club, Fraser Jamieson and Langstrings. While locals and visitors can sample more Shetland culture at the festival club on Saturday afterwards with a dance workshop and supper featuring music from Northmavine Fiddle and Accordion Club.

The festival’s local artist coordinator Diane Wood said the lineup was a testament to how much talent is in the isles

She said: “When you see the list of local performers and the range of experience and styles represented it really demonstrates what Shetland music is all about. We are grateful for all our local acts who volunteer to perform each year.

“With so many more visitors to the festival recently we felt we needed to create a bigger platform for Shetland music and hopefully this can be seen in the concert line-up. We are particularly looking forward to the special showcase concert at Mareel and the chance for our young musicians to see someone like Jenna Reid, who has shown what talent and dedication can bring.”

Kansa pictured at last year’s Skeld Folk Festival concert.

Other local favourites such as Haltadans, Vair, Sheila Henderson & Freda Leask, Fjanna, Shetland Mandolin Band, Girsie’s Loose Ends, Herkja – who wowed audiences on their first festival appearance last year – and many more will perform over the weekend with party bands such as First Foot Soldiers, David Sandison’s Tennessee Wannabees and Isaac Webb Trio performing late night slots at the Festival Club through it all.

Three singers from across the Atlantic will perform on Sunday afternoon’s ‘Voices of Canada’ show featuring JP Cormier, Kaia Kater and Pharis & Jason Romero, while jazz fans can see French swing quartet, Les Fils Canouche alongside local jazz musicians that same day. Sunday night will see the now legendary foy concerts featuring the vast majority of visiting performers from the weekend and the festival weekend’s venue sizes will range from Friday’s ‘Spanging Spree’ at Clickimin featuring Rob Heron & The Teapad Orchestra, Kinnaris Quintet and Elephant Sessions to more intimate song nights at The String featuring acts such as The Jaywalkers, May Erlewine and local festival debutantes, Trevor and Eva and Trio o Dem.

Other events to look out for include children’s concert, ‘Peerie Spang’ featuring Bon Debarras, Kabantu and Anxo Lorenzo as well as workshops and sessions in the festival club and the return of the Norwegian tall ship, Statsraad Lehmkuhl as a live venue over the weekend – details of which will be announced at a later date).

For full programme details go to https://www.shetlandfolkfestival.com/concerts

Tickets go on sale to members from Monday 18th March 2019.
Early memberships can be purchased up until midnight on 28th Feb 2019 from https://www.shetlandfolkfestival.com/membership