Shetland Events Diary by KGQ Hotels

We probably haven't caught all of the things that go on in our very active community but, listed below are the ones we know of.

Up Helly Aa and Fire Festivals

Up Helly AA Guizers CircleThe Shetland Fire Festival season runs from early January to mid March each year and, with the exception of the world famous main festival, Up Helly Aa, which is always held on the last Tuesday of January, they are all held on a Friday. Although the festivals running order is always the same, exact dates for each event change slightly each year and are published well in advance.

Scalloway Fire Festival
Lerwick Up Helly Aa
Lerwick Junior Up Helly Aa
Nesting and Girlsta Up Helly Aa
Uyeasound Up Helly Aa
Northmavine Up Helly Aa
Bressay Up Helly Aa
Cullivoe Up Helly Aa
Norwick Up Helly Aa
Walls Junior Up Helly Aa
South Mainland Up Helly Aa
Delting Up Helly Aa

The Simmer Dim Rally

Simmer Dim RallyMotorcycling is very popular on Shetland and, as midsummer events go, the Simmer Dim Rally has to be right up there as hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and their machines arrive on Shetland to party.
Held for more than 30 years, this hugely popular event takes place during the Simmer Dim in late June/early July each year, when it doesn't get dark on Shetland.
Unfortunately admission, and participation, to this event is strictly controlled and, if you don't have a ticket, you won't get in but, having said that, you will be amazed by the sheer quantity and variety of motorcycles as they tour the Island in convoy or park up en masse.
You can check their website at Simmer Dim Rally or their Facebook page or, visit this link to the Northlink Ferries website has an excellent article that gives plenty of extra information

Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year

Young Fiddler of the Year WinnersShetland's fiddle playing heritage is alive and well and this is a fiercely fought competition that is open to up and coming young fiddle players aged 16 and under proves it. Previous winners read like a fiddle players who's who.
Check out their Facebook page for more detail.

Shetland Folk Festival

The Revellers at Shetland Folk FestivalOne of Shetland’s biggest events is the internationally renowned Shetland Folk Festival. The incredible roster of artists includes some of the best local and visiting musicians there are, performing at venues throughout the isles. Begin the fun on board the Aberdeen to Shetland ferry during the unofficial opening in the middle of the North Sea!

Shetland Classic Motor Show

One of Scotland's leading motoring events, the hugely popular Shetland Classic Motor Show takes place every 2 years and 2018 will see, possibly, hundreds of vintage cars, motorcycles and even military vehicles travelling to Shetland to take part.
The vehicles will generally tour the island in convoy before being parked up for display to the public at the Clickimin Leisure Centre
Check their Facebook page for up to date information.

Lerwick Lifeboat Open Day

Lerwick Lifeboat Open DayAlways a popular event for locals and visitors and well supported by Northlink Ferries, our SAR Helicopter and all the other local services. There is loads of stuff going on and it's a great day out.
Why not check their facebook page

Lerwick Midsummer Carnival

Lerwick Midsummer CarnivalThe dates vary a little from year to year but, if your visits coincides with the carnival, enjoy the relaxed and happy party atmosphere.

Bergen - Shetland Yacht Races

Lerwick-Bergen Yacht RaceKeen sailors will be interested in this one as they watch the harbour fill with visiting yachts

Shetland Fiddle Frenzy

Shetland Fiddle FrenzyRun by Shetland Arts, the Fiddle Frenzy is a festival packed with workshops, concerts, sessions and masterclasses celebrating the Shetland fiddle Style


UnstfestUnstFest is a week of fun events on Shetland's most northerly island of Unst. Activities from previous years have included: Cooking for bairns, Rollerwheels (skates, scooters and bikes at the leisure centre), a Teddy Bear Hospital where you can get your best pal mended, Fire Station open night, a Stone Skimming Championship, a guided walk to Hermaness and the UnstFest Summer Carnival.

Shetland Nature Festival

Shetland Nature FestivalShetland has a wild magic all of its own. This land of sea and sky is bubbling with natural wonders and the chance of a surprise encounter lies around every headland and over every hill.
Run by Shetland Amenity Trust, the Shetland Nature Festival encourages everyone to get out there, explore and enjoy the world around them

Shetland Agricultural Shows

Shetland Agricultural ShowsAs you would expect from a rural community, Shetland has a number of well supported agricultural shows that run through the summer months.
Voe Show – 4th August 2018, Walls Show – 11th August 2018, Cunningsburgh Show – 8th August 2018, Unst Show – 25th August 2018 and the Yell Show – 1st September 2018
It's not just farm animals and tractors, there is a lot of entertainment as well and, each and every one of them is a great fun day out for visitors who would like a taste of Shetland

Shetland Boat Week

Shetland Boat WeekHeld mid August, Shetland Boat Week offers a range of maritime activities to enjoy.
These include talks about the history of fishing and shipwrecks in Shetland, boat trips and demonstrations of traditional skills.

Da Big Bannock

Da Big BannockOfficially Shetland’s daftest festival, Da Big Bannock takes place in Northmavine and every year raises tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Mind Your Head Fun Run & Walk

Mind Your Head Fun RunMind your Head is a Shetland charity formed to promote mental health positively.

The Shetland Rock Festival

Shetland Rock FestivalIt's not just fiddles and accordians. For those who love Heavy Metal, The Buffet : The Shetland Rock Festival takes place in the Royal British Legion, Lerwick and attracts a brilliant line-up of local and visiting artists to rock the crowd each night!


Screenplay at NareelAnother fine effort by Shetland Arts Trust. Shetland’s annual film festival is curated by celebrated film historian Linda Ruth Williams and film critic Mark Kermode, alongside our own Kathy Hubbard. It features a feast of film screenings, lectures and panel discussions involving national and international film industry professionals and film academics.

Taste of Shetland

A taste of ShetlandA celebration of Shetland's larder. Held in the Clickimin Liesure Centre, Lerwick, it features stalls, cookery demonstrations and some pretty tempting samples.

Shetland Wool Week

Shetland Wool WeekHeld during September, this popular festival is a celebration of Britain’s most northerly native sheep and the craft producers that make the most of the surrounding resources. Events include exhibitions, open studio tours, and master classes with well-known local and international knitters and designers.

Shetland Accordian and Fiddle Festival

Shetland Accordian and Fiddle FestivalThe annual Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival brings together the best of traditional music from Shetland, Scotland and beyond for a weekend of concerts, suppers and dances.


Shetland Arts WordplaySponsored by Shetland Arts Trust, Shetland’s book festival welcomes writers of local, national and international renown and features a mix of readings, writing workshops, and book signings.

Shetland International Guitar Festival

Shetland International Guitar FestivalThe Shetland Guitar Festival is dedicated to the memory of Peerie Willie Johnson, who invented a jazz-influenced accompaniment style of guitar playing. Visitors to the festival can expect concerts, educational events and the chance for guitar enthusiasts to meet some of the world’s finest musicians.