Organisers of one of the district Up Helly Aa events in Shetland are hosting a virtual festival this weekend.
With fire festivals cancelled all over Shetland this year, the public is being invited to enjoy the online entertainment being offered from Cullivoe in Yell.
Tonight, a selection of squad performances from the past decade will be available to watch on Cullivoe Up Helly Aa’s Facebook or YouTube pages, starting from 8pm with a video montage of previous processions and galley burnings.
An online version of Cullivoe’s traditional ‘Hop Concert’ – the festival’s annual variety concert – will then be streamed via the same social media pages from 8pm on Saturday.
Having to celebrate Up Helly Aa online has allowed some well-known names to get involved.
Irish musician Sharon Shannon, Canadian folk performer JP Cormier and the ‘one and only’ singer Chesney Hawkes are among the international artists taking part.
Also appearing will be Folk Festival favourites Madison Violet, plus Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors and Orcadian group The Silver Penguins – as well as an array of Shetland performers.
Cullivoe Up Helly Aa has also been running a ‘Virtual Galley Shed’ over the past month, setting up online Zoom calls that are open for anyone to join and connect with family, friends and neighbours during lockdown.
These will continue over the festival weekend, with joining instructions available from the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa Facebook page for anyone looking to join in the fun.
Jarl elect Steven Brown, who is now due to be Guizer Jarl in 2022, said it was “vexing” not to be having a normal Up Helly Aa this year.
He said he hoped people from Shetland and beyond would tune in online.