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Arts / Folk festival nominated for traditional music award

Inge Thomson is also up for the music producer of the year prize

Inventive Finnish seven-piece Frigg went down a storm at the 2022 festival. Photo: Lieve Boussauw.

THE SHETLAND Folk Festival has been nominated for a top prize at this year’s Scots Trad Music Awards.

The festival, which has spanned 40 years, is up for the event of the year award.

It will compete with other shindigs like HebCelt, Speyfest and the Braemar Folk Festival.

Committee member and programmer Mhari McLeman said she was “very proud” to see the festival land a nomination.

“Thank you to all the artists, volunteers, sponsors, hosts and audience members who make our community event what it is and who have earned this nomination,” she said.

The popular event returned in 2022 after postponing twice due to the Covid pandemic.

She said the news of the nomination brought back into focus the “really difficult days” in early March 2020 when the committee had to pull the plug on the festival as Covid emerged.

“We were so worried about the potential domino effect and the impact this would then have on the musicians, agents and sound crew that we love,” McLeman said.

Inge Thomson performing Da Fishing Hands at Hillswick back in 2014. Photo: Shetland News

“We had to be one of the first international music events to make that horrible call – and that was without really understanding the scale of change facing us all.

“So it was quite fitting then that we were also one of the first international events to return – in a near normal format but with some adaptations to account for ongoing restrictions and risks.”

Meanwhile Inge Thomson, who hails from Fair Isle but is now based south, is nominated in the music producer of the year section.

She has been a professional musician, composer, producer for around 25 years, often engaging in collaborative work.

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The Tartan Tunes podcast, which features Shetland based accordion player Peter Wood, is also nominated for the trad music in the media prize.

The event will take place at the Caird Hall in Dundee on 4 December in to mark its 20th anniversary.

Organiser and awards founder Simon Thoumire of Hands Up For Trad said: “In difficult times bands are getting back out on the road and filling venues across the world, bringing joy to people, and it’s great to be back to celebrate this and showcase all the work that has been taking place to fill people’s lives with music, whilst also remembering that we need to support our clubs and venues.”

People can vote online for who they would like to see win awards.

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