The Shetland Folk Society

Tel: 01595 692 446
The Shetland Folk Society


The Shetland Folk Society is a shining example of proud Shetlanders who started the group with the objective of keeping Shetland’s culture and heritage alive.

The group was founded in 1945 by Mr Neil Matheson, who proposed to foster Shetland’s traditional heritage by creating an organisation for those interested in folk culture. The primary aim of the Society was ‘to collect and preserve what remained of Shetland’s folk lore, folk songs, fiddle tunes, traditions, customs, place names and dialect.

For over half a century, the Society has carried on a steady programme of collecting and preserving Shetland’s folk materials. These can be found at the Shetland Museum & Archives at Hay’s Dock.

The Shetland Folk Society functions by regularly publishing material. They are the founders of ‘The Young Writers’ Competition’ and since 1982 the Society presents the annual ‘Young fiddler of the Year Competition’. The latter is held in Lerwick over two days in April each year (see for details. This competition provides a platform and environment for many talented young musicians in Shetland today. Participants very often go on to become young ambassadors for the Isles, taking Shetland music to many parts of the world.

For more information, please email


See the events calendar for information on upcoming events in the area.