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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11 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Craft Fair 2015

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Arts, crafts and foods.

    Dates

    13 Nov 2015 to 15 Nov 2015
  2. Up Helly Aa

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Shetland

    The largest festival of fire in Europe attracts visitors from across the world and marks the end of Yuletide.

    Dates

    26 Jan 2016
  3. Shetland Noir

    Type

    Literary

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Shetland's first ever crime writing festival.

    Dates

    13 Nov 2015 to 15 Nov 2015
  4. Gradings

    Lerwick

    Shetland fiddle group.

    Dates

    26 Sep 2015
  5. Screenplay 2015: Screenplay

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Shetland's annual film festival.

    Dates

    29 Aug 2015 to 6 Sep 2015
  6. Svenska

    Type

    Arts & Cultural

    Gradings

    Lerwick

    Contemporary art, craft and design from Sweden.

    Dates

    31 Oct 2015 to 24 Dec 2015
  7. Shetland Wool Week

    Type

    Arts & Cultural

    Gradings

    Shetland

    Seven days dedicated to celebrating the wool of Britain's most northerly native sheep and Shetland's textile industries.

    Dates

    26 Sep 2015 to 4 Oct 2015
  8. Gradings

    Lerwick

    This new opera tells the story of Alastair, a once successful actor who returns to his island home for the wedding of his brother.

    Dates

    26 Nov 2015
  9. Gradings

    Lerwick

    A touring exhibition of contemporary ceramics, jewellery, baskets and boxes by five Danish makers based in Scotland.

    Dates

    12 Sep 2015 to 25 Oct 2015
  10. Gradings

    Shetland

    Promoting the best in traditional Shetland music.

    Dates

    8 Oct 2015 to 12 Oct 2015
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