Important message from the Shetland Folk Festival Committee

It is with regret that due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to reschedule this year’s Shetland Folk Festival and our 40th celebrations till next year. We have not taken this decision lightly, but after weeks of consulting venues, musicians, stakeholders and volunteers; the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community (and those who wish to come here) must be our priority.

We want our 40th Festival to be a celebration of everything good about our islands, and recent measures such as global travel restrictions, limits on public gatherings and an understandable uncertainty amongst the most vulnerable in our community has led us to conclude that it’s better to wait another year to really do Shetland and its musical family justice.

With most of this year’s visiting acts already confirmed for 2021, we promise we will be back with another stellar line-up and we’ll be even more hungry to welcome world-class musicians and audiences back again come 29th April 2021. We will be in touch with members in the coming weeks regarding refunds and the opportunity to carry forward your membership to next year.

As disappointing as it may feel for everyone connected with the festival, we are aware that this situation is going to be difficult on the live music industry with many self-employed musicians/technicians/agents impacted. We therefore encourage our festival-goers to support artists you enjoy in whatever way you can. For example, purchasing albums or merchandise from some of the bands you are hoping to see next year… Maybe looking at learning a new instrument online… Or getting a tune written for a special occasion…

In the meantime, we wish everyone good luck and good health in what is a difficult and unprecedented situation. If our community shows the same spirit and resilience in this current time as it does during our festival each year, we have no doubt we will get through this.

Let’s make up for it in 2021!


Da Committee


If you are a tourist who was travelling to attend the Shetland Folk Festival, we are sure you are additionally disappointed and we really hope you'll be in a position to join us in 2021

It's worth noting that the BBC travel correspondent Simon Calder was recommending to travellers not to cancel non-refundable travel because of the likelihood that transport providers would cancel this anyway triggering an automatic refund.   We think this is a useful tip to share and incidentally, Loganair regional airlines have already indicated that they will be cancelling some flights in April and May.

If you were booked to travel on Northlink ferries from Aberdeen or Orkney, we suggest that you contact them as soon as possible.   They do normally have cancellation charges (which vary if you cancel less than 6 weeks in advance) but Folk Festival goers should tell them why they are cancelling, due to Covid 19 disruption, as full refunds are currently being offered.