4 additional Visiting Acts and the Local Line Up Revealed

The Shetland Folk Festival is delighted to announce the addition of four more confirmed acts to their visiting line-up for 2018.

Fresh from appearing as part of this year’s ever popular Transatlantic Sessions tour, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell will make his debut visit to Shetland this May.  As a traditional singer and bouzouki player (who is dab hand on the guitar and banjo too) Daoirí is a former electrician from Dublin who began his performing life at a local singers’ club and decided to turn his life around after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV. On his journey so far, he has won the All Ireland Champion Singer at the Fleadh in Co. Derry, a Danny Kyle Award in 2015 with the band FourWinds, and as a solo artist has gone on to win not one but two titles at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 –for Best Traditional Track and the Horizon Award for best newcomer.

Travelling from Vermont, USA, are Pete’s Posse – a trad roots power trio who will perform a lyrical and driving mix of songs and tunes, old and new. Booked as an integral part of a 2018 Year of Young People project at the Festival, they will be working with members of ‘Young Tradition Vermont’ on a collaborative project with a small number of young Shetland musicians. Young Tradition Vermont is an organisation which works to inspire young people with traditional music and dance, and create opportunities for them to develop and perform. In the week leading up to the Festival, a sub group of their Scotland touring party will visit Shetland and spend time with young musical Shetlanders to learn and exchange tunes, culminating in a joint Festival performance over the weekend.  Pete’s Posse will also perform as an act in their own right at select concerts over the weekend.

“Funky guitar and flash fiddling” duo Ross Couper and Tom Oakes (Shetland and Devon) will appear as a three piece over the weekend, and will also be involved in supporting the Year of Young People project. Although from polar opposite ends of the UK, they have a shared passion for the infectious melodies and grooves of Celtic music, and together have been dazzling audiences with their fiery, driving rhythms for almost a decade. Having first appeared at the festival in 2012, the committee are delighted to welcome them back.

Completing the visiting line-up is Glasgow born The Friel Sisters who use their strong Donegal heritage and sibling bond to create a tightly blended sound that encompasses the soul of Irish music.  Appearing in Shetland as a 5 piece, the band have already performed at venues and festivals across Europe, America and Asia, and have shared stages with the likes of Altan, The Chieftains and Sharon Shannon. Clare Friel, has recently become the first Scottish person to ever win Young Traditional Musician of the Year at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards.
In addition to the finalised visiting artiste line-up for 2018, the Festival has also unveiled over 40 local acts that will perform over the 4 days in concerts, Festival Club lates as well as free community events and workshops.  As well as Shetland based acts like Haltadans, Vair, Bryan Gear & Violet Tulloch, Fjanna and Steven Robertson, Shetland affiliated acts such as Jenny Keldie & Brian Cromarty from Orkney and the Edinburgh based indie-folk act Dante will also be making the trip north.

Shetland Folk Festival 2018 is also looking forward to another year’s partnership with the stunning Norwegian tall ship, Statsraad Lehmkuhl. The two afternoon sessions that took place on deck in glorious sunshine last year were massively popular and a huge success, so Festival goers can look forward to the ship’s crew recreating their wonderfully welcoming atmosphere once more – complete with Norwegian refreshments and fish soup!

The committee would also like to take this chance to remind everyone that the deadline to purchase Early Memberships at www.shetlandfolkfestival.com is 28th February. Don’t miss out!