To witness the full Shetland Folk Festival Experience, it is a good idea to have membership for the Shetland Folk Festival Society (SFFS).
A perk of this is that only SFFS members are permitted access to the fantastic Festival Club and besides this, members purchase their concert tickets at a considerably reduced rate. Early members also get priority booking of tickets. There are ticketed concerts within the festival club that require a membership also in order to purchase tickets. This is the only venue where it is necessary to be a member however.
Where is the Festival Club?
The Festival Club is a hive of activity all weekend and situated in Islesburgh Community Centre, King Harald Street in the main town of Lerwick and is in a very central location. The Festival club is open throughout the day and late into the wee small hours throughout the festival and there is food on offer in the cafe located in Islesburgh daily and some late night scoff. And of course there is a well-stocked bar!
It's the place to be if you are interested in meeting and greeting Festival artistes, listening to sessions or participating in the various workshops on offer. The Club is where the opening lunchtime concert is held - which gives a real taster of what's ahead.
There will also be a number of late night staged events (after the hours of the mainstream concerts) that are simply too good to be missed! Tickets are not required for the late sessions but you must have a membership for entry. (Each person needs their own membership also).
Entry to the Club will be restricted to 2019 wristband-wearing members. PLEASE NOTE - At certain peak times, the Festival Club may have restrictions on entry due to fire regulations. At these times, we ask you to form an orderly queue outside and you shall be permitted access once a sufficient number of people have left.
Sessions are part of the festival, with local and visiting artistes getting together to play a tune. Visitors to the festival are actively encouraged to take part in the sessions. Please don't be shy! There are four main rooms in the Club, three with pianos, plus the main concert venue (when concerts/sound checks are not being held). There are also numerous staircases, hallways and cupboards available for tunes if you so fancy!
For an idea of what the Festival Club is like, check out this amazing gallery of photos by Lieve Boussauw (including an attempt to stop a session at 5am when the Festival Club closes!)