The UK's most northerly folk festival is an outstanding event, regularly earning ‘must-see’ recommendations in guide books and newspaper reviews. For performers, locals and visitors alike, the festival's "sessions" are amongst the best in the world. Visiting artistes are regularly dumbfounded by the quantity and quality of local musicians that these remote isles have to offer. They’re struck, too, by the warm welcome they receive, staying not in hotels but in the homes of Folk Festival supporters. The history of the festival makes interesting reading, with the list of visiting artistes reading like a ‘who’s who’ of roots music.
Concerts are held all over Shetland and, on the final night, audiences in three large venues are treated to a marathon concert in which everyone has a chance to see all the 15 or so visiting bands. Despite the complexities, it all runs like clockwork, and it’s all achieved entirely by a voluntary committee.