Up Helly Aa (January-March)
Da Big Bannock (August)
A popular fixture on the calendar since 1999 has been the fund-raising Big Bannock event, a fun day out featuring the baking of the Big Bannock (scone-type local delicacy), Merry Tiller racing and various other exciting events. It is an annual charity fundraising event held in North Roe since 1999. The name is derived from one of the events whereby a group try to cook the largest single bannock (an unleavened bread). The 2006 event raised over £18,000 for local charities. Each year Da Big Bannock team release a calendar and a DVD, with money raised from the sales going to charity.
Screenplay Festival (September)
Shetland’s annual Film Festival is curated by Linda Ruth Williams and Mark Kermode. It features a feast of film screenings, lectures and panel discussions involving national and international film industry professionals and film academics. Screenplay also has a strong local flavour, provided by the work of local film makers of all ages and an increased commitment to outreach throughout the islands.
Wordplay Festival (September)
Shetland’s annual book festival has been running since 2001. Welcoming writers of local, national and international renown, Wordplay features a mix of readings, writing workshops, children’s theatre events and book signings offering a unique opportunity for readers and writers to meet with their favourite authors, hear them read their work and answer questions.
"Peerie Willie" Guitar Festival (September)
The Shetland Guitar Festival is a celebration of guitar with concerts and educational events held around Shetland in September each year. Known locally as the "Peerie Willie" Guitar Festival, the event is dedicated to the memory of the late Willie Johnson, the highly regarded guitarist who pioneered the jazz influenced accompaniment style now prevalent in traditional Shetland music.
Shetland Blues Festival (September)
Britains most northerly Blues Festival. Another Shetland festival that does exactly what it says on the tin, but rest assured of the widest possible range of ingredients and interpretations of the word 'blues'. Everything's on offer, from the laid-back meandering acoustic sounds of the Mississippi Delta - allowing you to sit back relax and enjoy - to in-your-face R & B that demands you dance or throw yourselves around, or indeed do both. The festival is largely based in Lerwick, but takes the occasional 'wander' out into the surrounding countryside for good measure. Many of the gigs take place in local pubs and clubs and are free of charge.