Festival moves online this October

2 September 2020

Taste of Shetland’s annual food and drink festival will take place in a new online format this October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers Shetland Food & Drink, which now counts over 70 local businesses among its rapidly growing membership, are putting together a host of demonstrations and culinary entertainment to showcase the isles’ produce to the social media masses on Saturday 17 October.

Viewers will be able to learn how some of Shetland’s leading producers make their products and dishes, enjoy live cooking demonstrations, hear culinary discussion and take part in food-related quizzes and other entertainment.

Festival content will be both pre-recorded and live, with films being aimed at both local and global social media audiences.

Shetland Food & Drink (SFAD) manager Claire White said the organisation had secured funding from the Connect Local regional food fund and EventScotland’s national events funding programme.

“We could have deferred staging an event until 2021 but we feel that the whole Shetland community, and Shetland enthusiasts worldwide, could do with things to look forward to during the tough winter ahead,” she said.

“So we’re staging the first Taste of Shetland online festival slap bang in the middle of the tattie holidays on Saturday 17 October, probably between 11am and 3pm. It will stream live on Facebook and we hope content will be available to view online after the event too.”

Andy Steven of Shetland Webcams will be coordinating the technical aspects of the event, which Claire said had been enthusiastically received by many SFAD members.

“We all know what a unique, exciting and delicious place Shetland is, and this is our opportunity to tell new audiences about that in a brand new way,” she said.

“It’s exciting planning a novel event like this because there is no template, and member businesses have complete freedom to tell their own stories of Shetland food and drink.

“We’re currently gathering video ideas which we’ll weave together with live cooking, entertainment, chat, montages and webcam footage in a lichtsome day’s programme. We’re hoping that audience members will dip in and out, join us for a virtual tasting, feel inspired, and leave with smiles on their faces. 

  • Taste of Shetland members with ideas for the online festival, “no matter how big or small”, are encouraged to submit any visual content for inclusion by Friday 2 October. Submissions can be emailed to shetlandfoodanddrink@gmail.com

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