When: 17th – 19th June 2016
Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
£: Tickets for the Gala concert cost £10.80. The festival is free but the event raises money for charity, so all donations are welcome.
What is it?
This year’s Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival takes place over the weekend of 17th to 19th June 2016, filling the town with singing and merriment.
The festival was originally devised as a novel way of raising funds for the RNLI and is now one of the biggest maritime music festivals in Europe, with 59 shanty groups due to take part this year.
Groups come from far and wide to perform the shanties. Some dress in seafaring outfits such as The Pirates of St Piran, who dress appropriately enough in pirate costumes, and groups sing songs such as the Drunken Sailor and A Drop of Nelson’s Blood.
This year’s festival kicks off on the evening of Friday 17th June, with the opening ceremony at 6.30pm in the Events Square. The singing commences at 7pm and finishes just after 10pm.
The shanty singing will then continue on the Saturday and Sunday. Performers over the weekend will include The Molgoggers, The Longest Johns, Sheringham Shantymen, The Barnacle Buoys, The Vagrants Crew, The Nauti Buoys, The Oggymen and Swinging the Lead.
Events will be taking place at various venues around Falmouth including a stage at Custom House Quay, the Watersports Centre and the Quayside Inn.
This year there will be a Tosta Pop-Up Village on the Prince of Wales Pier, helping to celebrate minority languages in maritime communities. There will be a chance to have a natter in Kernewek and brush up on your Cornish (or learn your first words) at the Talkdrome; add your own message to the multi-language shoal of paper boats with the Origami Flotilla; and sample food, drink and cultural goodies from seven nations. Finally, there will be a traditional musical mash-up with musicians from seven minority nations.
As usual, 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 and singers, to raise money for the RNLI.
Below is a video of Betty Stogs joining in with the singing at the 2011 festival.
In addition to the singing and music, there will be a World Street Food Hub, with plenty of different dishes available from authentic Thai food and Indian street food, to an Argentinian BBQ and gourmet burgers.
This year’s event will once again feature a ticketed Gala Concert on Saturday night at The Princess Pavillion, as well as the many free performances.