13th November 2018
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WATCH: Thirtieth accordion and fiddle festival begins

The 30th anniversary edition of the Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival is in full swing.

Over 100 local musicians have been joined by around 70 visiting performers to take part in the annual event, which is widely regarded as one of the finest of its kind in the country.

Chairman of the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs Nicol McLaren said: “It’s completely different here. Most of the festivals at home are competition festivals. But here it’s less competitive. It’s much more inclusive. Everybody just joins in with the sessions – there’s music in every corner up here.”

The festival began last night (Thursday) with six public halls, from Cunningsburgh to Cullivoe,  each hosting multiple acts.

Another six venues are being used for concerts this evening. They are: Islesburgh community centre, Voe hall, Scalloway public hall, Quarff public hall, South Nesting hall and Whiteness and Weisdale hall.

According to Mr McLaren, this year’s festival has already proven its worth.

“The Vidlin concert last night [Thursday] was absolutely stunning. It was as good a concert as I have ever been involved with in 26 years of coming to Shetland.”

However, for many, the highlights will take place over the weekend.

The Youth Concert at Islesburgh on Saturday morning is always a popular event – showcasing the great wealth of talent among the isles’ young people – and the evening’s Grand Dance in Clickimin leisure centre is expected to attract its usual 500 or 600 guests.

The following evening, attention will turn to the Garrison Theatre, where a selection of artists will play to a sold-out venue.

The festival officially ends at 4pm on Monday 9th October.

About Andrew McQuarrie

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