Fraser festival to return

Plans are under way to bring back the Thomas Fraser Festival in November 2015 and also release a “best of” CD of Fraser’s songs.

The festival was formerly staged annually in honour of the Burra fisherman, whose reel-to-reel musical recordings were discovered after his death and subsequently released on CDs to great acclaim. It ceased in 2012 after the launch of the sixth album.

A variety concert will be held in the Burra Hall at the end of this month, in order to raise funds for the event the following year.

Scheduled to take part in the one-off variety show on Saturday 29th March are Laeverick, The Pottingers, Robbie Cumming, Callum Watt, the Whalsay Weemin and Kansa.

The decision to bring back the festival was made last year, according to Karl Simpson, grandson of the late musician.

He said: “When we stopped in 2012, we always intended to restart at some point and three years seems like a good break to have. Everyone is refreshed and looking forward to organising what we are sure will be a memorable event.”

The festival committee members were currently in the process of scoping out and booking acts for 2015, he said.

Simpson said: “As for the longer-term future, making the event bi-annual is a possibility but we’ll see what happens.

“There are a few things left to do on the recordings side, one of which is to release a ‘best of’ type release and we may organise events to coincide with that.

“In the meantime it would be great to see folk later this month at the variety night – it is pay at the door, old fashioned tea and home bakes and of course some great entertainment. Check local press for details in the coming weeks.”

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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