Shetland Arts has unveiled a packed musical line-up for Mareel’s official opening season, featuring visiting acts including Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean, American multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, indie band Aberfeldy and electronic artist Mylo.
The opening season kicks off with a previously announced concert by former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews on 7th October, followed by shows from a diverse range of visiting and local acts.
Highlights include a Vic Galloway Presents night, the first in a series of regular music showcase concerts hosted by the BBC radio DJ, headlined by The Phantom Band and followed by a DJ set from Galloway himself.
Klub Revolution will be bringing back DJ Kutski, whose August date in Shetland was foiled by fog, in early November.
Other concerts in the calendar include the promise of a “foot-stomping performance” by Danish folk band Himmerland, the Shetland Guitar Festival headlined by Stuart McCallym and Aziz Ibrahim, Scottish duo Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells and December’s two-night stint from the Happy Mondays.
Over the weekend of 16th-18th November, the £12 million arts venue’s official opening weekend celebrations will include a trio of major concerts.
Popular Scottish indie group Aberfeldy, described by The Scotsman as “one of the most winningly diverse bands to emerge in recent years”, will entertain audiences on the Friday night, supported by singer-songwriter Chris Bradley.
The Saturday night will see Shetland Meets Appalachia – an exploration of our common musical roots featuring American fiddler, banjo player, guitarist and singer Bruce Molsky, who appeared here as part of February’s Transatlantic Sessions concert.
Molsky will be joined by special Shetland guests including Gary Peterson, Maurice Henderson, Maggie Adamson, Sheila Henderson, Brian Nicholson, the Cullivoe Fiddlers, the Heritage Fiddlers, Lynda Anderson and more. There will be workshops all week in the lead up in schools across Shetland, as well as concerts in Muckle Roe on Thursday 15th and Cullivoe on Friday 16th November.
“I’m so looking forward to this visit,” Molsky said. “The common elements between our two musical heritages and traditions are there for all to see and this factor has attracted me for some time, so I think it will be a very exciting and rewarding visit and I’m especially looking forward to working with and alongside all your great Shetland musicians.”
The opening weekend will draw to a close on Sunday 18th with Dougie MacLean, described as “Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriter”, taking to the stage. He is best known for penning Caledonia, a song that has been covered by over 200 artists worldwide and has even had a whisky named in its honour.
MacLean has earned a host of international awards and accolades throughout his career and continues to tour regularly, selling out large concerts the world over including venues such as New York’s famed Carnegie Hall. He was recently awarded an OBE for his contribution to music.
Mylo will perform three days before Christmas, while there is local music aplenty too including a Hallowe’en concert headlined by The Revellers, a festive date from First Foot Soldiers, a Shetland Community Orchestra concert and a choral society Christmas performance.
Shetland Arts director Gwilym Gibbons said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce such a packed programme of high quality events for official opening season at Mareel. We have had a huge amount of interest so far and we expect that things will only get busier in the run up to the festive season.”
Davie Gardner of Atlantic Edge Music Services, who has been helping out with the programming of the opening season, said it had been a “genuine privilege” to be involved.
He said the series of concerts with Molsky and a host of homegrown artists, together with workshops aimed at younger musicians, “demonstrates Shetland Arts’ commitment to both a local and international programme of events in Mareel and indeed beyond”.
“I look forward to being part of more exciting announcements in the very near future,” he added.
Also being launched during the opening season will be cinema promotions – gold and silver cards, family and friends and “Ten4Nine” discounts.
As a one-time only promotion, customers will be offered a “taster package” where they can try out an unlimited cinema card for three months, “allowing customers to see how the Mareel gold or silver card fits their lifestyle, without having to commit to a full 12 month contract straight away”.
Customers pay for three months up front (£45 for the gold card, £30 for the silver card) and receive use of the card for three months from the date of payment, which could be any time from October to December. After the three months are up, Shetland Arts will get in touch to see if customers want to commit to the full 12 month contract.
The gold card gives customers access to unlimited film at Mareel for £15 a month. The silver card will give access to unlimited off-peak films for £10 a month. Off peak is defined as all day from Monday to Wednesday, before 5pm on Thursday and Friday and before 12 noon at the weekend.
Gold cards entitle customers to one seat for 2D film screenings subject to availability, and one seat for any 3D film at a “significantly discounted” rate of £1 per screening, with 3D glasses costing an additional £1.
The family and friends discount allows groups with two children or more and one adult or more to all pay children’s prices for any U, PG or 12A certificate film. Ten4Nine allows customers making group bookings to buy 10 tickets for the price of nine.