Locals and visitors – including Hamefarers – will be offered a full programme of music and activities at this year’s four-day Flavour of Shetland festival.
Lerwick’s Victoria Pier is the venue once again for the event, which it is hoped will replicate the festival atmosphere of previous years from 17th to 20th June.
Some of the best of the isles’ food, music, craft and culture will be celebrated at what has become a well-established event on the extensive calendar of summer festivals.
Last year’s new innovation The Seafood Shack returns to the pier with chef Glynn Wright cooking up a new selection of salmon, scallops, crabmeat and hot smoked salmon dishes in a choice of flavours.
Mr Wright said: “After last year’s hugely successful event we are looking forward to cooking with the best seafood the world has to offer and to let locals and visitors alike taste a flavour of Shetland.”
New for this year, Da Soup Galley will serve up a variety of quality soups made from locally grown and sourced ingredients, including Shetland’s favourite reestit mutton soup and its traditional companion, the bannock. Local rolls and oatcakes will also be available, as will Shetland smoked fish soup and, for vegetarians, homemade lentil soup.
JK Mainland will cook up good quality locally produced beef, lamb and pork from its own farm, and other local producers. Their menu will include mutton stew, hot pork roast rolls, lamb burgers, sausage meat rolls and bacon rolls.
The Great Wall will return with a menu of tom yum mussel soup, spring onion soya salmon, scallops with ginger and onions, curried lamb and lamb skewers – all made with local produce.
Another newcomer is In the Raw run by Heather Moncrieff. She said: “We’ll be offering smoothies that are positively delicious, fun to drink and include the superfoods and fruit that can be lacking in our diets.”
The Café Consulate will be serving up quality coffees, teas and home bakes and, for children, there will be a range of milk shakes and fudge.
This year’s line-up includes live traditional and contemporary music from some of the isles’ most notable musicians, storytelling, a variety of children’s activities including a welcome return from Cheeko the Clown and a visit from the Jarl’s Squad.
All types of music will feature over the four days with musicians from Fair Isle to Unst, and everywhere in between, taking part. Highlights will include: Norman and the Folding Deckchairs launching their debut album on the Saturday; Shetland Fiddlers appearing as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations; and all of this year’s winners of the Young Fiddler of the Year competition kicking off Sunday’s bill.
Flavour of Shetland will feature event debut performances from The Fabulous Ramstams, Bell’s Brae Choir (including a visit from their Samba band), Birls Aloud and Whiskyjaks.
Others on the bill include Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag, The Revellers, Hom Bru, Scaldin Bragg, Heritage Fiddlers, Jillian Isbister, Tess with Red Hot and Blue and the Vinyls – getting back together for a rare public performance.
Local storyteller Davy Cooper will be full of Shetland folklore and there will be static displays portraying the archaeological fieldwork at the Viking Unst Project and Old Scatness Broch and Iron Age Village.
For children there will also be regular freestyle dance sessions, a chance to make pirate ships or puppets, a games corner, face painting and a special “silent disco” with alcohol-free bar in the evenings for older children.
Local writer Jacqui Clark will present a short play called <i>Winnie and Flushing Frank</i>, which is guaranteed to have everyone in stitches.
The Jarl’s Squad will be making an appearance on the pier on Saturday 19th June accompanied by the Hamefarin galley.
This year, event organisers will be creating a brand new craft village using specially constructed retail huts. Located at the north end of the pier, the area will showcase a wide variety of Shetland’s talented craftspeople offering a superb array of high-quality goods.
Festival goers will be able to browse through the village, meet the producers and buy from a selection of crafts including: knitwear and knitted accessories; photography; traditional and contemporary furniture; jewellery; contemporary woven textiles; glassware; collectable knitted bears; a new textile design and fashion company inspired by the isles’ landscape and weather; a new textile designer; and a leather bag and belt maker.
New product launches include Lava Jewellery Design’s new Shetlandic Collection, which uses Rhoda Bulter’s poem <i>Shetlandic</i> in a jewellery range, while Aamos Designs will launch their At the Button of the Garden new collection.
Council vice-convener Josie Simpson said: “This is a particularly special year for Flavour of Shetland in that it ties in closely with the Shetland Hamefarin and the visit to Lerwick of the yachts taking part in the 2010 Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Yacht Race.
“The aim of the event is to bring together unique aspects of Shetland and celebrate them in one place so it will give our visitors the opportunity to mingle with locals and get a feel for island life while sampling our high quality products.”
SIC marketing official Neil Henderson added: “The event is now in its fifth year and once more presents very much a Flavour of Shetland with a fantastic showcase of music, top quality craft products and a great range of festival food made using high quality local produce.
“The event offers a great platform for Shetland and this year with the Hamefarin visitors in Shetland, a number of businesses and bands have used that opportunity to launch new product ranges and albums. I am sure that, once more, the event will prove to be highly popular again with both visitors and local people.”