We are pleased to announce this years Visiting and Local Artistes

Visiting Artistes

Ecky Hodgson Trio

The band have been playing recently at a variety of Concerts and Ceilidhs and Charity events around Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Our goal is to combine a great mix of Traditional and Original Scots songs and music alongside some guid auld fashioned humour.

Ecky is currently working on a new album which will join his others with Greentrax recordings.

Band Members include : Eck Hodgson, Isobelle Hodgson & Iain MacPhail

Alistair McCulloch

Alistair McCulloch hails from Ayr in Scotland and is one of the country's best known fiddle performers, teachers and composers with many appearances on radio and television. Past winner of many fiddle championships, Alistair is fiddle instructor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has tutored many of the new generation of rising stars.

Fin Hope Trio

Fin has been playing for 10 years and is attending the Festival as a trio along with Tom Gold on the fiddle and Adam Gibb on the piano.

Fin leads a Scottish Dance band in Lanarkshire which appear at a range of different events. In his spare time when not playing, Fin spends his time working on local farms shearing sheep and driving tractors

Gavin Piper

Gavin Piper, from Letham in Angus, is making a welcome return to the festival having been a popular guest several times before, he plays many instruments but this time performing as a solo act on his 5-row midied Bugari accordion. Although he has been on the scene for over 30 years, playing for various functions like village hall dances, accordion clubs and concerts, he is more recently known for his weekly live facebook show on which he plays a variety of music genres so be prepared for a good mix of toe tapping music!

George Davidson

George started playing at 9 years old through school under Judi Nicolson, and then after a few years continued classical studies with Karen Harper at school while taking traditional fiddle lessons with Paul Anderson, who taught him for 6 years and is the main influence of his playing style.

He has been competing since 11 years old, with success at junior and senior level all over Scotland including winning Oban Masters, Banchory festival, Perth Festival and Aboyne Highland games, and most notably winning what proved to be the last ever Glenfiddich Fiddle championship in 2015.

He has played at many festivals and events across the country, including playing alongside Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain many times, and playing as a guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Take the Floor” with Robbie Shephard.

This will be his 3rd time attending the accordian and fiddle festival and is 'delighted to be invited again'.

Graeme & Maggie Mackay

Graeme is the 3rd generation of the Mackay family band dynasty, originally from Caithness before moving south to Inverness in the 80s. Now residing in Elgin, Graeme is continuing the legacy, after 30 years behind the box, Graeme won the World Title for Senior Hybrid Accordion in 2021 after finishing on top at the International Diatonic Championship festival ran by CMA. He continues to play for functions & events both all over Scotland & internationally, not forgetting the famous Ceilidh Cabin, his online platform, formed in his shed during lockdown.

This year Graeme is joined by his wife Magdalena on Piano, who in her own right is a professional pianist & vocalist, she studied at the school of musical excellence in Poznan, Poland. Now running a music school from home in Elgin, passing her knowledge on to the next generation of Piano players.

Iain Stewart

Scottish through and through, I was born in Inverness and nurtured amidst the rich culture and heritage of the Highlands. The melodious echoes of my dad, a retired Scottish singer, and the old Gaelic airs taught by my granny have been my earliest musical influences.

My love for the accordion came somewhat accidentally, at the age of 16, when a friend happened upon an old, abandoned accordion. Over the years, this relationship with the accordion has become a journey of exploration and discovery. Though I've not received formal musical training, I've learned much from the shared wisdom of many, including family members and local musicians who graciously shared their knowledge and expertise with me.

My musical style is a result of my affection for diverse genres - Scottish traditional music, jazz, and film scores. It's a modest tribute to the greats who have inspired me, such as Jim Johnstone, Gordon Pattullo, Jim McLeod, and John Carmichael.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of participating in numerous music competitions, each of which provided a platform to learn and grow. One memorable experience was my performance at the Banchory Club at the tender age of 17, alongside the late Billy Thom, a memory I hold dear.

Every gig for me is an opportunity to connect, to converse with the audience using the universal language of music. And each melody, a story, laden with emotions and experiences, personal and shared.

Needless to say, I am truly delighted for the opportunity to perform at the Shetland Festival, and I look forward to immersing myself in the music-filled atmosphere and camaraderie."

Full Tilt

Full Tilt brings together the musical talents of Gemma Donald, Alan Small, Brian Nicholson and Manus McGuire to provide you with a diverse range of music from Shetland, Scotland, Ireland and beyond. The energetic and lively sound they produce along with the expression and heartfelt emotion they are able to put into their music comes across in every performance. Full Tilt Live is the band’s debut album having been recorded live on tour at venues all over Scotland in November and December 2019. The band is delighted to have Manus back in Shetland for their performance at the Accordion and Fiddle Festival.

Lindsay Weir Scottish Dance Band

The Lindsay Weir Band are very much looking forward to their return visit to the 2023 Shetland and Accordion Fiddle Festival. They opened the 2018 Festival and the slot doubled up as impromptu launch for their well-received "Reels N Heels" album. Pipe music and west coast melodies are Lindsay's first love but in the last 10 years, Shetland tunes have featured prominently in the band repertoire with tunes from Ian Burns, Drewie Hawick and Willie Hunter being particular favourites. Lindsay considers herself fortunate to have been consistently busy with a wide variety of band work over the years and to have made regular Take the Floor broadcasts since 1995. For over 15 years, she has been proud to partner with Edinburgh-based CeilidhKids, promoting Scottish dancing and music to the very youngest generations. The band returns to the Festival with the same line up as in 2018 - Gemma Small (fiddle), Alan Small (2nd accordion), Colin Garvin (keyboard) and Alan Irvine (drums).

Nicola Braid & Gordon Haddow

Nicola and Gordon both started playing the accordion around the age of 6 or 7, when they went to the Joe Burke Accordion School, Cardenden in the 1970s alongside Michael Philip and James Coutts. After Joe’s untimely death in 1980, they went on to different teachers. They competed in various solo competitions throughout their teenage years, winning the UK Championships at various levels up to Virtuoso Solo. In the 1980s, they also competed as part of the Fife Accordion Band, becoming UK Champions in 1986.

Nicola and Gordon both stopped playing completely for around 25 years, until a chance meeting on Facebook almost five years ago, when Gordon was looking for someone to play with him at his brother’s 60th Birthday Party. They then decided to try doing their own duet arrangements and played at a few local Accordion & Fiddle Clubs, where they did their first guest spot just before Lockdown. During Lockdown, they continued to play together on Facebook, making virtual videos with the late Bill Ewan and different collaborations of musicians. Nicola & Gordon have been inspired by many Shetland musicians, so they are delighted to be joined by one of Shetland’s finest, Margaret Robertson on piano.

Ragna Valde Sletten & Vegard Hansen

Ragna Valde Sletten (fiddle) is the last of a long line of fiddle players in the Sletten family. She has been playing traditional folk music from an early age, and is currently a student at the Grieg Academy, department for Folk Music in Voss.

Vegard Hansen (accordion) has been playing in various bands throughout the years. He is currently a student at Voss together with Ragna.

The duo plays traditional Norwegian folk music arranged by themselves, and has developed their own style and sound.

Crynoch Ceilidh Band

The Crynoch Ceilidh Band were formed at the end of 2016 a few months after the previous band (Ian Thomson Scottish Dance Band) had attended the Shetland Accordion & Fiddle festival. The band had some changes in line up with a desire to have local musicians to Aberdeenshire to make it easier to practise and to play locally (not a necessity!).

The band play for local ceilidh classes in Aberdeen and for the various local RSCDS branches, both of which has led to a significant increase in the popularity of the band throughout Aberdeenshire and beyond. The band have also broadcast on BBC’s Take the Floor three times since 2017.

Band members are : Ian Thomson, Rob Ross, Willie Johnstone, Scott Gordon, Ann Thomson, Brian Cruickshank and John Burns.

Matthew MacLennan Scottish Dance Band

Matthew Maclennan Scottish Dance Band is based in Edinburgh and travels the length and breadth of the United Kingdom for events to play at. The band has performed regularly since 2009 on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Take the Floor” show and released their only album, as yet, in 2014 called “Traditionally Inspired”. The band plays at lots of Scottish Country Dancing functions as well as ceilidhs, weddings and corporate events. The band enjoys the varied mix of traditional music especially playing highland music including Gaelic and bagpipe melodies. This year at the festival the band consists of Matthew Maclennan on lead accordion, Julia Dignan playing fiddle, Neil Macgregor playing 2nd accordion, Martainn Skene at the piano and George Gray playing drums. Matthew and the band are very much looking forward to returning to the Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Festival.

Neil Hardie Scottish Dance Band

The Neil Hardie Scottish Dance Band was formed around 1998. The band has had the same 4 or 5 piece line-up from the start. At this year's festival we have our 6 piece line up, the band will be Neil Hardie on Lead Accordion, Neil's sister Caroline Hardie on Fiddle, Jim Nichol on Piano, Brian Forrest on Second Accordion, Graham Sherritt on Drums and Alasdair MacLeod on Double Bass. The Band has a large following in the Scottish Dance scene. Over the last 25 years the band have appeared at over 35 Accordion and Fiddle clubs as guest artiste from the North of England to the Shetland Isles and have regularly been asked to perform at the Angus Accordion & Fiddle Festival, Keith Festival and are delighted to have been asked back once again this year to play at the Shetland Accordion & Fiddle Festival. The band are greatly looking forward to their trip North.

Tay Ceilidh Band

The Tay Ceilidh Band was put together by well known drummer by Callum Wallace or Ceilidh Callum as he's become known over the years as a well repected musician and entertainer for over 30 years now. Callum has taken musicians all over the world to play at many top class events in Dubai, Denmark, India & Oman and of course travelled all over Scotland, England and Ireland, Callum is the backbone to the Tay Ceilidh Band.

The Tay Ceilidh Band won the Scottish Wedding Awards 2020 and were voted one of the best suppliers in the entertainment category at the awards in 2019.

The band line up consists of ; Callum Wallace (Drums), Gary Sutherland (Lead Accordion), Jimmy Cassidy (2nd Accordion), Mary Rutherford (Fiddle) & Graham Berry (Piano)

Local Artistes

Alison Laurenson

Alison is a fiddle player from the South Mainland of Shetland who has toured extensively with fiddle group Hjaltibonhoga over the last ten years.

Andy Kain

Andy is a well known fiddler player who moved to Shetland in 2016. As well as performing solo he plays with several other local musicians. Andy started a violin school in Lerwick a few years ago and has a large number of pupils.

Brendan Scollay and Friends

Brendan comes from the island of Yell and is joined by his sister Shareen on drums along with other well-known Shetland musicians to perform together at this year’s festival.

Brian Morrison

A former All Scotland Accordion Champion, Brian who originally hails from Forfar has resided in Shetland for many years. Along with Colin Sutherland on drums, Brian performs a wide variety of music in his own unique style.

Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch

One of Shetland’s finest fiddle players who has been entertaining audiences both locally and outwith Shetland for many years. Accompanying Bryan on piano will be renowned accompanist Violet Tulloch.

Da Fustra

Established by bass guitarist Cecil Hughson in 1969, this very popular dance band plays at weddings and functions throughout Shetland and the UK mainland. The band has played at every festival since it began in 1988.

Evie Williamson - Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year

Evie is a talented fiddler from the island of Whalsay and follows in her brother’s footsteps to win this year’s Shetland Young Fiddler of the year competition. At the age of 15 her fiddle playing shows that the future of Shetland fiddle music is in very safe hands.

Heritage Fiddlers

The Heritage Fiddlers is a group of Shetland fiddle players, originally formed in 1981 under the guidance of the late Dr Tom Anderson, who put the group together from the young pupils he tutored at the time. Tammy was instrumental in ensuring that the traditional music of Shetland was saved and passed on to younger generations.

Inga Scott & Eunice Henderson

Originally from the North East of Scotland but now living in Shetland Inga is a very accomplished fiddler player and composer who has won many fiddle competitions over the years. Inga will be accompanied on piano by well known Shetland musician and fiddle tutor Eunice Henderson.

James Morris and Friends

A talented young accordionist from Sandwick in Shetland who is joined by fellow local musicians Finlay Simpson and Tom Jamieson.


A young and energetic fiddle group comprising Maisie Henderson, Yelena Anderson, Gracie Gowans-Little and Ruby Duncan, accompanied on piano by Kirsten Hendry.


A trio of young enthusiastic fiddler players who have played together since 2017 and comprises Liam Slater, Ewan Hutcheson and Magnus Williamson. The group plays a variety of traditional and contemporary tunes.


Led by Darren Stewart on accordion, this local dance band performs at dances throughout the isles and has made a regular appearance at the festival for many years. The band play a variety of contemporary and traditional music.

Linda, Pauline & Margaret

A Fiddle Trio featuring sisters Linda Gair & Pauline Irvine from Whalsay and well known tutor and composer Margaret Robertson with Martin Henderson on piano. They have performed regularly at festivals over the years and are sure to prove popular with audiences.

Liza Henderson

Accomplished fiddle player from Lerwick accompanied by May Gair on Double Bass and Alison Kay on Guitar. The trio blends well together performing a mix of traditional and contemporary tunes with a lovely acoustic sound.

Maggie Adamson

Talented musician from Shetland whose fiddle playing is admired both locally and further afield. Maggie’s wide ranging repertoire bridges traditional Shetland tunes with American, Scottish, Eastern European and classical styles. Maggie will be accompanied at this year’s festival by Kirsten Hendry.

Mary Rutherford

A former Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year, Mary is renowned fiddler player who has background in traditional and classical music. Whilst studying and working on the Scottish mainland she performed with a number of well known musicians and bands. Mary will be accompanied at this year’s festival by Kirsten Hendry on piano.

Ness Accordion and Fiddle Club

From the South Mainland area of Shetland this group meet to share and play music together. The group has a number of players who play several instruments providing a varied selection of music for their audience.

Northmavine Fiddle and Accordion Club

From the North Mainland of Shetland this group of musicians meet regularly in the Hillswick Hall to encourage musicians from the area to come together to share and play traditional music. The group includes Scandinavian music in their repertoire.

Shetland Fiddlers Society

Founded by Dr Tom Anderson and friends in 1960 to celebrate Shetland’s first Hamefarin.

This popular fiddle group promotes traditional Shetland fiddle music and have played all over the isles and outwith Shetland. The group has made many recordings over their 60 years of performing.

Stewart Grains

Stewart is an accomplished fiddle player from Vidlin who plays a real variety of new and traditional tunes. Stewart will be accompanied by Isobel Jamieson on piano.

The Callum Irvine Band

Accordionist Callum Irvine comes from a very talented musical family from the island of Whalsay and brings together some of Shetland’s finest musicians to perform a spot at this year’s festival.

The Callum Nicolson Dance Band

Led by Callum on lead accordion and his father Alan on 2nd accordion, this band is very popular throughout Shetland playing at weddings and functions. The band is renowned for their arrangements and polished performance.

The Cullivoe Band

A popular local dance band which performs at dances and functions throughout Shetland. With the distinctive sound of Bryan Gear on fiddle the band is sure to entertain with a mixture of Shetland and Scottish tunes.

The David Halcrow Band

David, from Scalloway, is one of Shetland’s top accordionists and has been on the Shetland dance band scene for many years. Scandinavian and Irish music is sure to feature in their programme.

Peter Wood Band

Peter is a talented musician, composer and tutor who plays a variety of instruments. At the festival Peter will perform on accordion with his band who play at dances throughout Shetland and whose energetic style is sure to have everyone’s feet tapping.

Westside Fiddle and Accordion Club

This group regularly meet in the West Mainland area of Shetland to share and play a wide variety of accordion and fiddle music together.

General Information
How to get here