South Mainland Up Helly Aa
Frequently Asked Questions
& Information for Guizers
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to the South Mainland Up Helly Aa.

Q - Who is The Guizer Jarl ?
A - The Guizer Jarl is the Chief Guizer, leader of the Jarl's Squad who are dressed as Vikings for the day. Click the link to the years SMUHA to find out about the Guizer Jarl for that year.

Q - What is the Jarl's Squad ?
A - The Jarl's Squad consists of the Guizer Jarl's squad members who are also dressed as Vikings for the day.

Q - How many people participate ?
A - In 2013 there were over 500 Guizers, of whom around 420 carried torches during the procession.

Q - How and when is the Guizer Jarl chosen ?
A - The south Mainland has been divided into 5 'areas' with a Guizer Jarl chosen from each one. Each 'area' takes it in turn to host the SMUHA on a 5 year rotation. The 'areas' are the main centres of population and are [approximately] Gulberwick & Quarff, Cunningsburgh & Fladdabister, Sandwick & Hoswick, Bigton & Levenwick, and Dunrossness. A new Guizer Jarl is chosen by vote at the Annual General Meeting in September/October each year.

2020 - Jimmy Laurenson - Bigton
2019 - Liam Mullay - Gulberwick
2018 - Ian Bray - Sandwick
2017 - Brian Halcrow - Cunningsburgh
2016 - Scott Lobban - Dunrossness
2015 - Lesley Simpson - Bigton
2014 - Keith Lobban - Gulberwick
2013 - Dale Smith - Sandwick
2012 - Kevin Adamson - Cunningsburgh
2011 - Brydon Robertson - Dunrossness
2010 - David Smith - Bigton

Q - Can a squad musician carry a torch ?
A - Yes, providing they pay the appropriate guizing fee.

Q - Who pays a guizing fee ?
A - All guizers regardless of whether they carry a torch. Any squad musician who carries a torch.

Q - What are the age limits for FiddleBox Carriers ?
A - 14 to 16 on the day of the procession.

Q - Can a FiddleBox Carrier carry a torch ?
A - No.

Q - How many musicians may a squad have ?
A - Currently there is no limit. However, squads are expected not to abuse this. Musicians must be able to play an instrument and must be integral to the squad's act.

Q - How many FiddleBox Carriers may a squad have ?
A - Currently there is no limit. However, any more than three should be with the Committee's approval.

Q - Is there a minimum age for a guizer ?
A - Guizers must be at least 16 on the day of the event.

Q - What are the age limits for SMUHA night Hall tickets ?
A - Each hall committee sets their own age limits - see the smuha Facebook page for ticket sale details.

Q - Is there a minimum age for the Hop Night ?
A - All persons must be 18 or over.

Q - How can i get to Shetland & what about accomodation ?
A - If you plan to visit Shetland to view SMUHA (or any of the Up Helly Aa festivals), the website which provides excellent information about Shetland accommodation, flights and ferries to and from Shetland, and about the many other activities and attractions that Shetland has to offer.

Q - Who can take part in the procession ?
A - Only squad members, squad fiddle-box carriers & squad musicians can take part in the procession.

Q - Who are the current Committee members ?
A - See the Committee page.

Q - How do i contact SMUHA ?
A - Click the Contact SMUHA link in the menu above. You can also find us on facebook - South Mainland Up Helly Aa.


General Information for Guizers
- pdf file

Information for Bus Drivers & Squads entering Halls - pdf file

SMUHA Constitution - pdf file
2011 SMUHA
2010 SMUHA
Contact SMUHA
2012 SMUHA
2013 SMUHA
2014 SMUHA
2015 SMUHA
2016 SMUHA
For the latest SMUHA News, hall ticket sales information etc. please visit our facebook page.