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Arts / New music festival to take over Lerwick in August

A NEW music festival which will feature more than 20 local acts is set to take place this summer at the Clickimin in Lerwick.

Rising North, which will be held across the venue’s main room and bowls hall on Saturday 17 August, aims to showcase Shetland’s local talent.

But there is also set to be warm-up events across a number of Lerwick pubs the night before, as well as “warm down” music on Sunday.

The acts are due to be announced over the coming weeks, with tickets going on sale when the line-up is confirmed.

A committee of local folk involved in music are behind the venture, with the core members David Bisset, Jack Jamieson, Arthur Nicholson, Joe Robertson, Anthony and Arron Peart and Taylor Pirie.

It comes after the hugely successful Lerwick Tall Ships event last July, which saw high praise for the local acts on stage.

The team intends to have the daytime of the Clickimin event family-friendly, with plans to have burger and ice creams outside too. The evening part of the Clickimin will have a capacity of 1,000.

They told Shetland News one key inspiration behind the plan is the annual Orkney Rock Festival, which takes place across a number of venues in Kirkwall before having a main event.

Joe Robertson said it will be “similar but different” to the Orkney event, and added that the style of music will be non-traditional.

“It will dip its toes in various other genres, but generally speaking it’s contemporary,” Robertson said.

“Your folk festival and your fiddle and accordion is catered for, so we’ll not be really venturing into that areas,” Anthony Peart added, “but everything else we’ll be trying to pull in.”

The team – all folk involved in the local music scene – met up in the aftermath of the Tall Ships, which, as Peart puts up, “gave us a kick up the arse” and encouraged them to pursue a long-held ambition to put on a festival.

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There have been a few attempts at rock or contemporary music festivals in Shetland in recent years, including the Heavy Metal Buffet event which ended in 2017.

Others in years gone by include promoter Jeff Ampleford’s Shetland Rocks festival in the 2000s, Shetfest which ran for a few years in the 2010s and the fundraiser Oxjam – whilst the multi-venue Boppapalooza made its debut last year.

Pirie, who moved to Shetland from Orkney a few years ago, said the local talent is evident, especially after the Tall Ships. “Obviously there were the visiting acts, but the local acts did as good of a job as well, and they created as much of a buzz at Holmsgarth,” he said.

Although there stands to be a mix of original and covers music on offer, Robertson added: “There’s a lot of bands producing original music at a very high level, that’s lots of times probably a lot more popular outside of Shetland than is here.

“But there’s a lot of Shetland bands who have their own anthems, and people who were not even born when those songs came out, know the words for it – Suppository Business is a brilliant example.”

The team said the goal is to put on an annual event and potentially look into booking a visiting act as a future headliner.

“The dream is to be able to be in a position where we can take up a big act fae sooth to headline the night,” Peart said.

“This is a non profit – we’re all just doing this to get some money put aside so we can make it bigger and better next year.”

Peart also wanted to thank Jonny Polson from Artmachine for designing logos for the festival.

More information about Rising North will be updated on the festival’s Facebook page.

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