Share this Post

Shetland Arts' annual Up Helly Aa day concert, Fiery Sessions, and Up Helly Aa night stand-up comedy show, Stand Up Helly Aa, are now on sale. The concert and show will be held in Mareel in 2013 for the first time.

At Fiery Sessions on January 29th, audiences are invited to start off their Up Helly Aa celebrations with an afternoon concert from some of Shetland’s best traditional musicians in Mareel. The 2013 bill for the concert includes one of the brightest new additions to Shetland’s folk scene, Vair, featuring Ryan Couper, Jonny Polson, and the Peterson brothers, Erik and Lewie, who are sure to get feet stomping. The bill also includes duo Kaela Jamieson & John Hutchison; consistently popular and a must-see act. As well as this, more great local acts will be confirmed in the new year.

People can also come along to Mareel after the procession to warm up with Stand Up Helly Aa - a belly-busting bill of great comedians, featuring John Gavin, Paul Pirie, and compered by the always hilarious Sandy Nelson. Unst resident, Sandy, originally from Glasgow, has been on the circuit for 15 years. He is also an accomplished playwright and actor best known as Chris The Postie in BBC Scotland's Still Game. He is looking forward to hosting the fifth Stand Up Helly Aa at Mareel.

Sandy Nelson

Scottish Comedian of the Year 2009, John Gavin, offers tales of his home life with a wife and 3 young daughters as a 6ft tattooed man who has been subjected to far too much High School Musical and pink fluffy toys. John has established quite a career since he first starting performing in July 2008 when, without his knowledge, his wife put him forward for a competition for newcomers at the Edinburgh Fringe. He had never performed comedy before. He did so well he got through to the final of 'So You Think You’re Funny.’ Despite his relative newcomer status, he's gone on to perform at The Stand, The Comedy Store and is part of the Gilded Balloon circuit tour.

John Gavin

Paul Pirie began his stand-up career in 2006, quickly establishing himself on the Scottish comedy circuit. With a driving force for achievement, Paul worked his way into the London clubs and was launched onto the UK comedy scene, emerging as one of the biggest Scottish acts on the UK comedy circuit. Paul’s career has encompassed TV, (appearing in Ikea's April 2011 comedy based TV advert), Film, and Radio, alongside his skill as a stand-up. His hilarity and comedic ability has earned him huge popularity with comedy goers and bookers across the world, gigging as far abroad as Australia and for diverse audiences such as The Armed Forces. Paul's work is superbly individual and put simply, delivers a refreshing burst of laugh out loud comedy that leaves audiences in raptures.

Paul Pirie

Fiery Sessions runs from 2pm-5pm, tickets cost £9 / £7, and all are welcome. Stand Up Helly Aa starts at 9pm and tickets cost £10. The show may include some adult content. Tickets for both events can be booked now via Shetland Box Office in Mareel/Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at

Related Posts


With your continuing support, we can do more.

Find Out More

Become a Member

Support our work by taking advantage of our great membership deals.

Find Out More

Help us plan!

Thank you for filling in our consultation survey, we had a phenomenal response, the results will be published by the end of August.

Shetland Arts Venues