Helpful Information

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 (TBC for 2019):

  • 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.

For full details, and for instructions how to purchase, please visit the membership and tickets pages.

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 1st May 2019) 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 1st  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 2nd 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 OR phone the reservation number: 0845 6000 4490845 6000 449.

Parking at Aberdeen Ferry Terminal

Car parking (hourly/daily rates apply) is available nearby the Aberdeen Terminal at

  • The car park at Commercial Quay is operated by Aberdeen Harbour Board. Parking is allowed for a maximum of 72hrs.
  • Union Square ( which is 3 minutes away. This is surface parking for standard parking bay size vehicles, with no height restriction.
  • NCP Ship Row (tel: 01224 594257) which is 15 minutes away . There is a height restriction of 1.9m. A discount is available to NorthLink Ferries passengers with a validated NCP ticket (tickets are validated on return in the NorthLink Ferries Terminal Aberdeen.) Please note: This Discount is subject to change by NCP without notice

Parking for oversized vehicles / vehicles with tows is available at Aberdeen Beach Boulevard and Esplanade.

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 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 ( or Visit Scotland on the details below. Booking accommodation in advance of arriving in Shetland is highly recommended.

Visit Scotland Shetland Office 
Market Cross

Telephone +44 (0)870 1999440+44 (0)870 1999440+44 (0)870 1999440
Fax +44 (0)1595 69 5807

There is 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 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.

The Queens and Grand Hotels are offering special rates to those attending concerts for the festival in 2018 of £45.00 for a single room and £55.00 for 2 sharing a double or twin room per room, per night to include bed, breakfast and VAT. “Festival” should be quoted by anyone making a reservation.

For more information contact the hotel directly: Telephone +44 (0) 1595 692826 Fax : 44 (0) 1595 694048 or email

The Scalloway Hotel in the village of Scalloway is worth checking out for festival deals.. Email

There are also campsites available in Shetland, but unfortuately there is no campsite in the main town of Lerwick at this presemt time. Please note: Shetland weather conditions can be variable in the month of May!. If you have a camper van there will be spots in Lerwick that are suitable for parking overnight.

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. Service buses unfortunately don't have suitable schedules to tie in with our evening concerts at rural areas.