On this page you'll find information about tickets and memberships, how to travel to Shetland and how to find accommodation for your stay.
What are the important dates?
The essential dates for the 38th Festival in 2018:
- 1st February - Early membership online sales open.
- 28th February - Early membership online sales close.
- 19th March - Ticket booking open to early members only.
- 2nd April - Ticket booking open to all.
- 30th April - All online ticket & membership sales will end at 6pm to enable the committee to process all transactions before moving from Burns Lane to Islesburgh (Festival Club) for the duration of the Festival.
- 3rd May - 11am Festival Shop re-opens at Islesburgh Community Centre for Membership & Ticket Sales and ticket collection.
Please note that all membership and ticket sales are online and we do not accept bookings over the phone or via email. Our shop will be open on some of these dates above to offer assistance however.
How do I get to Shetland?
There are daily flights and ferries connecting mainland UK to Shetland but booking is essential at Festival time.
Travel by Sea
Northlink Ferries currently operate the overnight ferry service between Aberdeen and Shetland. The best ferry to catch is the one before the first day of the festival (i.e. leaving Aberdeen on Wednesday 2nd May 2018) as this is when the organising committee and most of the visiting artistes are travelling up to Shetland. There are normally sessions that continue well into the night - if the North Sea is calm that is! We normally meet up at the ferry (bar!) a couple of hours prior to ferry departure. The ferry terminal building is about a 5 minute walk from the train and bus station. Please note, on 2nd May the ferry departs Aberdeen at 7pm. The very last check-in will be at 18.30 but as this is a busy ferry, you are advised to arrive earlier. You will arrive in Lerwick at 7.30am on Thursday 3rd May
Northlink offer a 30% discount on current standard rates for SFFS members travelling up to the Festival. The discount details will be in the membership confirmation e-mail you will receive.
If you require cabin accommodation, booking the ferry is absolutely essential. Please check their website for more details www.northlinkferries.co.uk OR phone the reservation number: 0845 6000 4490845 6000 449.
Note for car drivers - There is a car park available behind the Quarterdeck in Aberdeen run by First Management. Prices for leaving your car are from £6 a day.
Travel by Air
You can also fly from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen with Loganair to Sumburgh - Shetland's main airport. There are several flights per day. Loganair flights can be booked online at https://www.loganair.co.uk or by contacting your local travel agent.
Where can I go for help in finding accommodation?
The voluntary committee of the Shetland Folk Festival only organise accommodation for those people who are performing at the Festival. We do not organise accommodation for members travelling to the Festival. Most Festival-goers decide to base themselves in Shetland's capital, Lerwick although there is accommodation available throughout the isles.
For help on finding B&Bs, guesthouses and other hotels, please visit the Shetland Visitor website (www.shetlandvisitor.com) or Visit Scotland on the details below. Booking accommodation in advance of arriving in Shetland is highly recommended.
Visit Scotland Shetland Office
Telephone +44 (0)870 1999440+44 (0)870 1999440+44 (0)870 1999440
Fax +44 (0)1595 69 5807
There is also an AWARD WINNING youth hostel available just across the road from the Festival Club at Islesburgh House. For more details please contact Islesburgh by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)1595 745100+44 (0)1595 745100+44 (0)1595 74510044 (0)1595 745100. On doing so, please state that you are travelling up for the Festival.
In previous years, The Grand Hotel in Lerwick have very kindly offered a special rate for SFFS members for accommodation over the Festival period. For more information contact the hotel directly: Telephone +44 (0) 1595 692826+44 (0) 1595 692826+44 (0) 1595 69282644 (0) 1595 692826 or email email@example.com.
The Scalloway Hotel in the village of Scalloway offers a special weekend Festival deal of £80 a night for a twin/double or £55 for a single in 2015 (tbc for 2017). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also campsites available in Shetland. (please note: Shetland weather conditions can be variable in the month of May!)
Is transport available to the concerts?
Transport to and from venues is NOT provided by the Shetland Folk Festival Society. You must make your own travel arrangements to Festival Concerts. Ferry crossings will be required to attend some of the concerts held during the festival. Please find information of inter-island ferries here. If you intend to attend the concerts in the remoter parts of Shetland, a hire car is advisable.