Musical extravaganza begins as 31st Shetland Folk Festival is launched

Visiting musicians enjoyed the sunshine as they tuned up for the Shetland Folk Festival in the Lerwick flower park yesterday afternoon. From left: Paige Rees from Louisiana, USA; Olav Mjelva from Norway; Steve Byrne from Arbroath; and Stephen Rees from Louisiana.

The 31st Shetland Folk Festival, highlight of the musical calendar, got underway yesterday at lunch time.

Tavish Scott was on hand to declare the festival had begun at the official launch at 1pm in Islesburgh, where an expectant crowd of club members had gathered.

A selection of acts played at the opening concert and gave the crowd a taster of what they can expect over the weekend.

Among the highlights of the weekend will be self-confessed “educated hillbillies” the Wilders; purveyors of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing Pokey Lafarge and the South City Three; Fred Morrison and his unlikely blend of bluegrass and bagpipes; and funky Polish seven-piece Beltaine.

With 19 visiting acts, a plethora of local bands, five nights and 18 venues it is sure to be a weekend to remember for music enthusiasts.


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