At last, it’s back. The Shetland Folk Festival will finally return this spring as organisers confirm an in-person event and an eclectic and international line-up once more to mark the 40th festival.
The four-day event will celebrate its return by looking to the future while also reflecting on the last four decades, with both established and new local and visiting acts at the core of the programming.
Scottish music legend Dougie MacLean will make a welcome return having first appeared at the Festival back in 1986.
Famed for writing the much loved anthem, Caledonia, MacLean has built an international reputation as a songwriter, composer and extraordinary performer, and has wowed audiences all over the world including on the prestigious stages of Carnegie Hall in New York, London’s Festival Theatre and the Sydney Opera House.
Grammy-nominated string band Della Mae are among the debut acts to make it across this year. Comprising of some of the finest bluegrass musicians from USA and Canada, the 5-piece have received rave reviews and acclaim across both sides of the Atlantic and have been on the festival’s radar and wish list for some time.
Irish songstress, Heidi Talbot will also appear at the festival for the first time while marking over 20 years as a performer this year and with material from a new album, Sing it for a Lifetime, to share.
Scottish supergroup, The Poozies hold iconic status in Shetlanders’ memories when they wowed audiences back in 1991 and featured in the Shetland Sessions TV series that same year.
With a new line-up and material they are sure to do the same again. Newbies Sarah McFadyen (fiddle, banjo, guitar) and Tia Files (guitar, fiddle, percussion) have joined founding member Mary Macmaster (electro-harp) and long-term cohort Eilidh Shaw (fiddle), and together they continue to play a dazzling, joyfully eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional tunes with beefy, powerful accompaniment.
The festival runs from 28th April till 1st May.