Up Helly Aa 2022: Shetlands festival postponed until 2023

Organisers behind Shetland’s popular Up Helly Aa festival, which had been due to take place in the new year, say the event has been postponed for a second year running.

The 2022 festival due to take place on Tuesday January 25, 2022 has been put off due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the guidelines of hosting events and festivals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers say they plan to postpone the festival until January 2023.

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In a statement, they said: “Up Helly Aa as an event relies on numerous factors coming together at one time to be able run smoothly and safely.

"Planning for the event takes place a full year ahead of each festival and despite the best efforts to continue organising the festival through the various restrictions that have been in place to date this year, it is clear now that despite the release of further restrictions there isn’t sufficient time to run the event in its normal format.

"We know this will be disappointing news for many, particularly at a time when guidance is relaxing for Covid.

"Many questions remain however as to what life looks like for this type of event in the coming months and for that reason it’s unfair to put the responsibility on the hundreds of volunteers it takes to organise the festival.

“It is only now we can start planning with some hope and confidence for the event to return in 2023.

The festival has been postponed.

“The date of the next festival will be Tuesday January 31, 2023.”

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