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Shetland Arts are delighted to announce the launch of two new platforms for local artists, practitioners and performers, Gutters’ Gaet Sessions and The Open Mic Café, to take place in Mareel. The events, designed to provide local people with a chance to develop their performance skills and showcase their artistic abilities, will be free to attend and open to anyone to participate.

The Open Mic Café is a fun and informal open mic session, compèred by local musicians Lisa Ward, who has recently seen success on the BBC’s The Voice, and Chris Grant.  Participants can opt to sing a song, play an instrument, tell stories, jokes, or even do a dance all within the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of the café bar. The event un-ticketed and free to attend and a house guitar will be provided for those who wish to use it.

Organiser Chris Grant said ‘The Open Mic Café is a fantastic opportunity for folk to come and have fun, build up their confidence performing and collaborate with other local musicians and artists in a relaxed atmosphere’.

Lisa added: ‘We want to see all kinds of performances: comedy, improve, sketches, songs, poetry, instrumentals... whatever you’ve got!’

Each month will have an optional theme, the first of which is ‘90’s Number Ones’, as well as a ‘One Time Only’ collaborative performance, the details of which can be found at or on the Open Mic Café Facebook page.

Gutters’ Gaet Sessions is a weekly platform for artists, practitioners and performers from all backgrounds to showcase their work, whether it be performing new tracks from a forthcoming album, previewing scenes from a new play, or demonstrate your craft skills. Slots last two hours, and are free to individuals and groups to book.

Graeme Howell, General Manager of Shetland Arts, said ‘We are keen to develop the Café Bar as a home for all artistic practise. This is an opportunity for anyone, regardless of their background or artform, to put their practise in front of an audience, and gain feedback and recognition for what they do’.

Gutters’ Gaet Sessions open on Sunday 22 March, between 1.30 – 3.30pm and run weekly. Slots are free and can be booked through Shetland Box Office at Mareel and Isleburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555 or online at


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