This month, Falmouth will be taken over with the sound of singing and merriment, as the Cornish town plays host to the world’s largest free nautical song festival.
This year’s Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival will see more than 60 shanty groups taking part across 20 venues, including pubs and special music stages.
The event was originally devised as a novel way of raising funds for the RNLI and has grown into a renowned annual international festival. This year’s event will welcome groups from across the UK and beyond, including performers from Brittany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland.
Some of the singing groups dress in seafaring outfits, such as The Pirates of St Piran, who dress appropriately enough in pirate costumes, and groups perform their versions of shanties such as the Drunken Sailor and A Drop of Nelson’s Blood.
This year’s festival will kick off on the evening of Friday 14th June, with the opening ceremony at 5pm in the Events Square. The singing will commence at 1pm and finish just after 10pm, with acts including Captain Cat & the Sailors, the Pirates of St Piran, The Oggymen, the Nautibouys, and Swinging the Lead.
The shanty singing will then continue on the Saturday and Sunday, and performers over the weekend will include the Fishguard Folk Singers, Vagrants Crew, Acapella Moonshine, Monkeys Fist, Wareham Whalers, Five Men Not Called Matt, Femmes de la Mer, The Jolly Strumpets, and the Longest Johns.
Live music will be taking place at various venues around Falmouth, including the Seasalt Stage at Custom House Quay, Skinner’s Stage at Events Square, The Grapes Inn, the Falmouth Hotel, and the Seasalt store.
As well as the shanty music there will be a festival parade, tours of the Falmouth Lifeboat Station, an historic tall ship, a market, and a ‘Beat Betty’ challenge to take part in.
The event raises vital funds for the RNLI, and Skinner’s Betty Stogs will be there helping to raise money for the charity. In a bid to reduce single-use plastics, there will be reusable pint beer cups on sale for £1 at this year’s event.
When: 14th – 16th June 2019
Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
More info: www.falmouthseashanty.co.uk