When: 13th – 15th June 2014
Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
£: Tickets for the Gala cost £15. The festival is free but the event raises money for charity.
What is it?
The annual Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival takes place this weekend, filling the town with singing and merriment. The festival was originally devised as a novel way of raising funds for the RNLI and this is the 11th year it has taken place.
Groups come from far and wide to perform sea shanties, some dress in seafaring outfits such as The Pirates of St Piran, who dress appropriately enough in pirate costumes. Songs such as the Drunken Sailor and A Drop of Nelson’s Blood are sung, and should you wish to join in there are lyrics available in the festival programme. This year’s Sea Shanty Festival will feature 48 shanty groups, 21 venues and 261 hours of shanty singing!
This year’s festival kicks off on Friday evening with the opening ceremony at 6.30pm in the Events Square. Singing commences at 7pm and finishes just after 10pm. The shanty singing will then continue from midday on Saturday and Sunday. Events will be taking place at various venues around Falmouth including a stage at Custom House Quay, the Watersports Centre and the Quayside Inn.
Skinner’s Betty Stogs will be there, helping to raise money for charity. There will be a Beat Betty Challenge, a fundraising competition between the sea shanty groups, to raise money for the RNLI. Last year Betty Stogs managed to collect £1808.62, and the event itself has so far raised over £36,000.
Below is a video of Betty Stogs joining in with the singing at the 2011 festival.
This year’s event will feature Shanty Stops, which will be open air performance areas for groups to perform ad hock and help raise money throughout the town. These special performance areas will be situated at the start of The Pier, on Market Street, Church Street and Church Corner. Also new for this year will be a ticketed Gala Concert on Saturday night at The Princess Pavillion.
More info: www.falmouthseashanty.co.uk