Folk fiesta saw frantic demand for tickets

Folk musicians from around the world gathered in the isles to perform 24 concerts before a collective audience of more than 5,000 people last weekend.

Received wisdom was that Toronto-based Ameri­cana group Madison Violet and Irish folk singer Cara Dillon, along with traditional Finnish-Norwegian act Frigg and Asturian roots outfit Felpeyu, were among the highlights of a marathon weekend for the 29th Shetland Folk Festival, which saw just 50 tickets go unsold.

Special mention should also be made for Box Club, a group featuring a quartet of accordions who, when granted their wish of playing one of the many sessions at Islesburgh on Sunday night, managed to cobble together several accordion players from other groups so that the number of box players on stage breached double figures. They also roped in Tim Dalling from the New Rope String Band and the hilarity when he launched into Wild Thing is “going to go down as one of those very special moments”, said festival organiser Mhari Pottinger.

She was also delighted with the success of the Nordic Tone project, bringing together students from here and across Scandinavia to work together to produce a concert performance at Clickimin on Saturday night.

“We were just blown away by what the students put together in less than a week. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was crying during the performance because it was so powerful.”

Looking ahead to next year’s festival, which will commemorate the festival’s 30th year, Ms Pottinger said plans would start next week with a view to putting on “something a bit special” which is likely to see some favourite acts from the past three decades returning.

See Arts & Entertainment section for reviews.


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