Events in Shetland

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  • Folk musicians playing in the Lounge Bar, Lerwick
    Folk musicians in the Lounge Bar, Lerwick
  • Mareel © Phatsheep Photography courtesy of Shetland Arts
    Mareel © Phatsheep Photography courtesy of Shetland Arts
  • A group of me dressed as Vikings pose with a replica Viking galley at UnstFest
    Celebrating Shetland's Viking heritage at UnstFest
  • Up Helly Aa procession, Mainland
    Up Helly Aa procession, Mainland
  • Uyeasound Jarl Squad at a Peerie Night Out, Unst
    Uyeasound Jarl Squad at a Peerie Night Out, Unst

Choose from a diverse programme of events in Shetland from traditional festivals like spectacular fire festival of Up Helly Aa to a whole host of riveting music events such including Shetland Folk Festival. Experience the islands’ outstanding natural beauty and wildlife during the Shetland Nature Festival, enjoy local cuisine at the Shetland Food Fair and more. 

Shetland's inhabitants always find something to celebrate, from their Viking roots at a spectacular fire festival in midwinter to their incredible music, art and culture events held throughout the year.

Visit Shetland in January for Up Helly Aa, Europe's largest annual fire festival. Watch as the Viking Jarl Squad parade through Lerwick with burning torches held aloft before setting alight a replica longship.

UnstFest, held in July, offers a packed programme with a great variety of events, including family fun sessions, regattas, a half marathon, music nights, BBQs and much more besides. Discover the island's natural heritage on guided nature walks, or delve into the past on an archaeological dig.

The Shetland Race, where sailing yachts travel from Bergen to Lerwick, is usually held on the third weekend in June. Watch as a flotilla of yachts set off on this 200 mile race across the North Sea and take part in fun activities held on dry land.

Discover the islands' wild side in July at the Shetland Nature Festival. Whether you want to see some of the rarest flowers in Britain or watch orcas hunting their prey off the coast, this family-friendly festival has plenty of events and activities that allow you to experience all that natural Shetland has to offer.

Experience Shetland's agricultural heritage at the Skeld Sheepdog Trials on the West Mainland and at agricultural shows held at Cunningsburgh, Voe, Walls, Yell and Unst during the summer.

Held at the beginning of May for more than 30 years, the Shetland Folk Festival has presented exciting line-ups featuring both local and visiting performers. Visit during the seven-day Shetland Fiddle Frenzy in August and you can learn how to play the fiddle at workshops.

After its stunning successful debut last year, the Shetland Jazz Festival in June promises an even better line-up of talented jazz players and bands from around the islands and further afield.

In November 2015, Shetland Arts will host a new festival, Shetland Noir, featuring some of Europe's top crime fiction writers. The arts body also runs Screenplay, a film festival packed with screenings, lectures and panel discussions.

Shetland native, Thomas Fraser, became posthumously famous for his unique renditions of country and blues songs. Since then, his music has been celebrated at the annual Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival in Hamnavoe. Held in November, music lovers are advised to get tickets early for this unique festival.

Take a look through the information listings to find out more about Shetland events held throughout the year.

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15 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Shetland Folk Festival

    Type

    Music Event

    Gradings

    Shetland

    A four-day folk music festival.

    Dates

    28 Apr 2016 to 1 May 2016
  2. Norwick Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Enjoy the traditional Viking fire festival from the beach.

    Dates

    27 Feb 2016
  3. Cullivoe Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Traditional Viking fire festival.

    Dates

    26 Feb 2016
  4. South Mainland Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Shetland's newest fire festival.

    Dates

    11 Mar 2016
  5. Uyeasound Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Traditional fire festival.

    Dates

    12 Feb 2016
  6. Festival Of Museums

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    A variety of events celebrating Scotland's museums.

    Dates

    13 May 2016 to 15 May 2016
  7. Gradings

    Shetland

    Promoting the best in traditional Shetland music.

    Dates

    6 Oct 2016 to 10 Oct 2016
  8. Bressay Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Up Helly Aa celebrations are held throughout Shetland to commemorate the Vikings.

    Dates

    26 Feb 2016
  9. Shetland Sea Kayak Symposium

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    The biennial sea kayaking festival run by the Shetland Canoe Club and based at the Bridge End Outdoor Center in the heart of Shetland.

    Dates

    23 Jul 2016 to 24 Jul 2016
  10. Shetland Nature Festival

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    A six-day festival celebrating the nature heritage on the Shetland Isles.

    Dates

    2 Jul 2016 to 9 Jul 2016
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