Events News

Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival – (Review)

Accordionist Christopher Maguire from Derrygonnelly. Photo: Dale Smith

The 29th Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival was once again held this year in Lerwick, 6th – 10th October. A festival of Accordion and Fiddle music from around the UK and beyond including bands from Norway and artists from Ireland too. On Thursday and Friday (6th & 7th) there were 6 concert and dances each night spread across the isles. Local and visiting artistes entertained the crowds who had traveled from all over the UK.

There is a great local drive to get local children playing music in the isles and as well as the accordion, the fiddle was well represented at the festival. On Saturday morning a youth concert was held at Islesburgh and was a huge success with school children playing before a packed hall. The concert featured the young fiddler of the year as well as a number of the isles youngsters. Following last years successful trial, the festival committee decided to again run an informal youth session on the Saturday afternoon, led by local musicians Peter Wood and Maggie Adamson along with visitors Andy Kain and Roya MacLean. This “Encouraging The Youngsters” is a tremendous credit to both the organisers and to the tuition in the schools in producing such great future musicians.

The “Grand Dance” on Saturday entertained over 600 dancers with 11 dance bands and a great night was had by all. Although the festival ended on Sunday afternoon it was followed by the “Final Fling” on Sunday night where all the helpers and committe members could let their hair down and enjoy the fruits of the festival for one last blast. Sessions, dances, tunes till 5am! All was part of a great festival. All the artistes have said the hospitality and organisation was so well done.

The artists and groups making their first festival appearance included the Gordon Brown Trio and the Raymond Chuchuk Band from Scotland, Kirkjuvagr from Orkney and Neansai ni Choisdealbha from Connemara in the west of Ireland. There were many other musicians attending that made up a total of 24 visiting acts that filled venues the length and breadth of the islands. There was also some 260 Shetland musicians making up an impressive 38 local acts involved in the festival.

A great big thanks go to the festival committee for looking after everyone and a shout goes out for the next festival in October 2017. If you have not been to this fabulous event then you are strongly urged to do so. Everyone is held in equal regard with no “show offs” and friendship comes high on the agenda!

Video from Craig Mcfadyen Band, Shetland Accordion and Fiddle festival 2016

Craig Mcfadyen – lead Accordion
Hector Mcfadyen – 2nd Accordion
Alan Irvine – Drums