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Arts / No local gigs planned in project to boost Scotland’s live music scene

THERE are no Shetland gigs planned in a new government funded project to host concerts around Scotland as the live music sector emerges from the Covid pandemic.

The Scotland On Tour project is supported by £750,000 of Scottish Government funding.

Its first series of concerts are now on sale and it sees events planned all over mainland Scotland, from Galashiels in the south to Ullapool in the Highlands. Some of the artists involved include Pictish Trail, saxophonist Tommy Smith and singer-songwriter Callum Beattie.

Project manager David Clark said while there was an application process last year, “unfortunately we didn’t receive any from Shetland-based promoters”.

“That doesn’t completely rule out any activity there, but right now there is nothing planned,” he said.

Another application round has not been ruled out, but there is no certainty it will happen.

“If it did happen we would definitely welcome applicants from parts of Scotland we haven’t been able to cover so far,” Clark added.

Then Scottish culture minister Jenny Gilruth said last year that the project would boost music acts who have had little opportunity to perform live since the Covid pandemic.

She said it was an “exciting opportunity for artists and venues, but also for Scottish audiences, who will have the chance to see the best of Scottish music right on their doorstep”.

The local music scene in Shetland, however, appears to be emerging back into life itself after a tough two years.

The Mid Brae Inn for instance will host live rock music tonight (Friday) and Saturday, while folk act Herkja will perform at the Vidlin Hall on 26 March.

Also coming up in the calendar is young musicians in Mareel on Sunday 27 March and a student night at the venue on 31 March.

For something a bit different The Fiction and Zdenka will be performing at the Scalloway swimming pool on 1 April.

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