This weekend, 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. The Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival turns almost every space and venue into a stage and brings singing groups together with songs celebrating the sea and Cornish culture.
This year’s festival programme will see more than 70 shanty groups taking part across 25 venues, including pubs and special music stages. The event was originally devised as a novel way of raising funds for the RNLI. And it has now grown into a renowned annual international festival.
Some of the singing groups dress in seafaring or pirate outfits. And groups perform their versions of much-loved shanties such as the Drunken Sailor and A Drop of Nelson’s Blood.
Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival 2022
This year’s festival kicks off on the evening of Friday 17th June, with an opening ceremony at 6.30pm in Events Square. The singing commences at 1pm and finishes just after 10pm. Acts include the Pirates of St Piran and Sloop Groggy Dogs. Performances continue over the weekend with the likes of Flash Jack, The Oggymen, Captain Cat and the Sailors, and the Barnacle Bouys taking to the stage.
Live music takes place at various venues around Falmouth. Venues include the Seasalt Stage at Custom House Quay, Skinner’s Stage at Events Square, The Grapes Ale House & Kitchen, Princess Pavilion, and Five Degrees Garden.
But it’s not just shanty songs you can enjoy over the festival weekend. There’s the return of the much-loved parade, which sees the singing groups journey through Falmouth en masse. And the Maritime Village will have themed events including sailing, maritime crafts and local producers, The Seaweed Institute and marine charities. In addition, there’s also an arts and crafts market with jewellery, gin and wood-turned gifts amongst other things.
The event raises vital funds for the RNLI, with more than £70,000 being donated so far. And in a bid to become more sustainable and reduce single-use plastics, there are more reusable beer cups on sale for £2 at this year’s event.
For more quirky festival fun, click this way!
When: 17th – 19th June 2022
Where: Across the town of Falmouth, Cornwall
More info: www.falmouthseashanty.co.uk