When? July 31 – August 7
Where? Various locations
Who? Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, South Mainland Young Fiddlers, Shetland Fiddlers Society, Clinkin’ Fiddles, Lewie Peterson, Catriona Macdonald, Fiddle Frenzy students, Scani Sessions
Why? The popular bow-themed event sees new curators Eunice Henderson and Claire White take the helm for the first time this year, with a packed programme based in Lerwick’s Mareel. While its roots are in tuition led masterclasses, there is a regular array of fiddle-fantastic gigs for the public, with renewed duo Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham topping the Shetland Arts backed bill.
Concerts will take place in Lerwick, Sandwick and Unst, with a plethora of Shetland fiddlers ready to show why the isles are so highly regarded when it comes to traditional music.
When? August 13
Where? Da Wheel Bar, Lerwick
Who? We Came From Wolves, Patersani, Damn Teeth, Get It Together, Pure Grief, Black International, Brundlehorse, Forgotten Sons, The Dirty Lemons
Why? After taking a year off in 2015, rock festival Shetfest returns with a bang. Continuing its penchant for punk and alt tendencies, a host of Scottish bands will make the trip north. With Da Wheel’s cosy capacity at a premium, the atmosphere looks set to be one to savour – even if it is royally sweat-stained.
Perth alt-rockers We Came From Wolves will head to Shetland armed with praise from the likes of The Herald and nationwide music magazine Rocksound, while local trio The Dirty Lemons will be ones to watch as they keep the party rolling with punked-up merriment.
When? August 13
Where? Saxa Vord, Unst
Who? Jim Salestrom, James Salestrom, Livingston Taylor, Dakota Blonde and more
Why? Last year’s Reel Music festival in Unst was ambitious, sprawling across the entire Saxa Vord site and promising music across the whole weekend. In 2016 the festival has gone ‘peerie’, with a compacted line-up dedicated to one day. With a smattering of US folk and country talent set to sail over from across the pond, there will be a chilled-out vibe streaming through Britain’s most northerly music festival.
Headline act Jim Salestrom is known for playing guitar with Dolly Parton, while US folksters Dakota Blonde are heading to the isles for the first time. Many more local acts are set to be announced in due course, ensuring that festival fans will be spoilt for choice on August 13, with Shetfest scheduled for the same day.
The Buffet 2016: Shetland Rock Festival
When? August 26-27
Where? Lerwick Legion
Who? Vasa, The Amorettes, Death Watch, Ten Tonne Dozer, Quantana, Atlas : Empire, Little Hands of Silver, Semperfi and more
Why? Local podcasters turned promoters Heavy Metal Buffet have made a big name for themselves on the Shetland rock scene in the last few years with their annual festival. The latest effort juggles a host of top Scottish talent and local acts across two stages, with oodles of headbanging and moshing guaranteed.
Open to all ages – which gives the weekend a surprising family vibe – this year’s two-dayer will see the likes of instrumental progressive rock stalwarts Vasa share the bill with the jumped-up AC/DC-esque Amorettes, while local bands will be represented through the likes of the effervescent sludge purveyors Ten Tonne Dozer and polished metal outfit Quantana.