A new songwriting festival is coming to Shetland


The inspiring Lerwick will host the first Shetland Songwriting Festival. Pic: Pexels/Yuri Loginov

A new educational songwriting event will debut on the Scottish island with the aim of attracting the best UK songwriters

The Shetland Songwriting Festival is to take place at The String in Lerwick between 20–22 September, with classes being held by Scottish musicians Rachel Sermanni and Louis Abbott from the band Admiral Fallow. Both songwriters are experienced performers and tutors and are well known in Shetland, with Sermanni previously supporting Mumford & Sons.

Over the course of the weekend, participants will take part in four workshops covering songwriting techniques including song structure, lyrics, melody, meter, song subject and collaboration. The workshops are open to beginners and advanced songwriters, and instruments are not a necessary requirement to partake in classes. The weekend will conclude with a ‘sharing session’.

Sermanni and Abbott will kick off the event with a performance at The String on 20 September, tickets are available to the public and details will be released soon. The festival costs £285, which includes the Friday gig, 12 hours of workshops, two lunches and two dinners at The String.

“I was invited to a house concert which featured several local acts performing their own songs,” recalls festival organiser Jenny Sturgeon. “I was blown away by their talent and enthusiasm for self-penned music. The aim of the festival is to bring the very best UK songwriters and tutors to Shetland to encourage and nurture the creative energy of this songwriting scene, as well as to encourage others from further afield to visit Shetland and take inspiration from the isles.”

For more information visit shetlandsongwritingfestival.com

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