Arts / Tribute band announced as final Tall Ships headliner

A full draft programme of events has also been released

THE FINAL night of festivities at this summer’s Tall Ships event in Lerwick will be rounded off by a Queen tribute band.

The full line up for the four-day event, from 26-29 July, has now been finalised with Queen II – who previously visited the islands in 2017 and 2018 – topping the bill on the Saturday night.

It will follow headline slots from Peat & Diesel, Tide Lines and the Peatbog Faeries earlier in the week.

Meanwhile a full draft event programme has been released – with Codona’s visiting funfair among the family-friendly activities on offer. It can be viewed here.

Over 50 music acts, including a wide cross-section of the islands’ own musical talent, will perform during an event expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Entry will be free to most of the live music programme, split between the main 5,000-capacity outdoor arena at Holmsgarth and a smaller stage at Victoria Pier in the centre of the old town. There will also be nightly DJs at Mareel.


The Thursday and Friday night programmes, headlined by Tide Lines and Peat & Diesel respectively, and the Queen II closing concert, will be ticketed. Those events will go on general sale in early May.

Music programmer Tim Matthew said Queen II would provide an ideal finale for the family-friendly event.

“They’ve been here before twice and delighted a packed-out Mareel,” he said. “They have a reputation for bringing the party spirit and it feels like a fitting way to bring the curtain down on four days of great live music.”

Another newly announced visiting act likely to get the crowd dancing are Banjo Lounge 4, an Edinburgh-based acoustic mash-up band who deliver classic old school hip hop, funk, dance and rock music featuring three-part harmonies, banjo, guitar, double bass and drums.

Matthew said they will offer “everything from Beyoncé and Britney Spears to Nelly and Nirvana – some of your favourite floor-fillers like you’ve never heard them before”.

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Banjo Lounge 4 will perform at Holmsgarth on Wednesday 26 July, sandwiched between energetic local bands Odessa and The Revellers.

Other local acts confirmed on the bill include The Roadside Crows, a new band formed by Gina Paolo Ritch which draws comparisons with Tom Waits and the Violent Femmes.

Among smorgasbord of newly announced local acts also include Rack ‘n’ Ruin, Suppository Business, First Foot Soldiers, Ten Tonne Dozer,  Vair and Big Time Quell.

There will also be daily Shetland folklore tales from Marjolein Robertson in Mareel.

VisitScotland’s director of events Paul Bush OBE said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and one of the many sporting and cultural highlights this year will be the Tall Ships Races in Lerwick.

“The four days of festivities will not only provide a wonderful family festival atmosphere but the 50+ strong music act line-up, now fully announced, will provide a real memorable experience for music enthusiasts too.”

The full draft event programme has been published here.

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