Shetland Arts announce post-shutdown festival, Shetland Unlocked

To be held four to six weeks after clearance is given for large-scale gatherings, we’re excited to announce Shetland Unlocked, a community driven festival. It will create an open platform for artists, musicians, makers, writers and performers to deliver workshops and events that encourage us to re-engage with each other. It will showcase Shetland’s creative and maker community and give a focus to ongoing endeavours.

Free to attend across Mareel, Bonhoga and The Garrison, the festival will provide a long weekend of activities, including music, film screenings, theatre, dance, art, literature, craft, wellbeing workshops and activities for children and young people.

Conversations are underway with Shetland Food and Drink Association and Shetland Arts and Craft Association about hosting food and craft fairs respectively over the weekend and we are keen to hear from other organisations, venues and associations that would like to get involved.

Individuals and groups can propose performances and workshops that will be programmed across the weekend using all of the spaces and facilities at our disposal. Some creatives may want to submit new work reflecting upon the current situation, while others may just want to come out and perform their back catalogue. We are open to any approach and any outcome, though obviously the normal rules of common decency apply. There will be the opportunity for community theatre groups to use The Garrison for scratch performances. All performers and workshop leaders will be paid, and details on payments are available here.

This will be a free event, though some spaces and performances will need to be ticketed. If performers or workshop leaders want to use this as an opportunity to raise funds for a local charity or cause then they will be more than welcome, we can provide buckets.

Due to the current global situation, the planning constraints this has put on us as an organisation, and in consultation with funders, a decision has been taken to cancel Screenplay 2020 and Wordplay 2020. The local elements of each festival will be incorporated into Shetland Unlocked. The ever-popular Local Writers Night will also go ahead and it is hoped that local writers propose workshop and performance ideas too. The Home Made short film event is currently open for submissions and will close on Friday 24 July. More information on Home Made is available here.

We want to give our community the opportunity to use our facilities to reconnect with each other and their audiences. Anything goes - you may want to put on a scratch play in the Garrison, or showcase a piece of art on the walls of Mareel. Your band may want to stand on stage and blast away the cobwebs, or you might want to share a piece of writing you have been working on. Any sort of performance or workshop, craft or art piece will be welcomed and hosted. It will be chaotic, it will be family friendly and it will be Shetland.

Graeme Howell

CEO, Shetland Arts

We are pleased to open applications from musicians, writers, artists, makers, drama and dance groups from across the isles to perform at the festival. Please submit at the Survey Monkey link below, and view submission and payments guidance here.


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