Shetland Fiddlers' Society
Shetland Fiddlers’ Society are not only the longest serving performer in the Festival, they are one of the handful of the still-active participants from the first festival in 1981!
The group, formed by Tom Anderson to perform at the Shetland Hamefarin’ in 1960, was nicknamed ‘Da Forty Fiddlers’ by Magnus Magnusson, because they had 40 musicians - 39 male and 1 female. Since then the Society has faithfully upheld Shetland’s fiddle tradition, encouraging participation by young and old alike, including numerous younger fiddlers now renowned in their own right.
Adhering firmly to the melodies and playing style that give the tradition its unique and distinct idiom, the Society is still thriving strong 58 years later. It collaborates closely with Shetland Folk Dance group, which shares this traditional philosophy. Its 9th CD “Da Reel Thing” of 2014 featured the dancers and in July 2017 both groups went to Norway for a joint tour. Our fiddle group have also had 3 annual trips to Orkney & John O’Groats since October 2015.
This July 2018, both fiddle and dance groups will perform at the forthcoming NAFCO conference in Aberdeen.