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The Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is just two weekends away. From Friday 16th June to Sunday 18th June, the stunning seaside town will come to life and be filled with energy, fun, music and food.
The celebration of all things maritime will include over 50 traditional shanty bands and performers, keeping alive the skills, the memories and the voyages made throughout history.
The whole town is host to the festivity, with the performances taking place in over 20 venues across Falmouth. The Mason Arms, Prince of Wales Pier, Star and Garter and Roly’s Fudge Pantry to name a few. As you wander through the streets and harbour, passing the many independent shops, restaurants and expanse of ocean, you will happen across some incredible live music and great food, all in a beautiful setting.
The festival was founded in 2003, by Falmouth Shout, the shanty singers all shared a passion for keeping the songs of the sea alive, which was their main inspiration for the festivities. Since its beginnings, the weekend has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the largest Shanty Festivals in Europe.
The traditional Sea Shanties were the work man’s song, many of which date back as early as the 15th century, with the lyrics adapting and developing throughout the years to better relate to the singer. The song’s rhythm was used by the workers who were then, the driving force of the boats. They were used to sustain and set the pace when the seamen were carrying out repetitive tasks that needed momentum and time keeping. The word ‘shanty’ is derived from the French word, ‘chanter’ which translates to ‘to sing.’
Nowadays, they are less frequently used as work songs, but more for the pure enjoyment of the music and keeping the history alive. Attendees are encouraged to join in with the music through dance and song. If you are looking for a way to warm up your vocal cords before you go, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty CD 2017 will help you get in the spirit and do just that!
As if the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival wasn’t enough, the Falmouth Classics Regatta will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event on the same weekend, in the same glorious location. There will be over 150 classic boats in the waters around Falmouth, making for a picturesque scene as you admire the historic boats bobbing on the water. Racing has taken place off the shores of Falmouth for hundreds of years, a tradition that is continued during the regatta. There will be three races and a boat parade over the three days. One of the best places to watch the races is on the coastal footpath between Place and St Anthony’s Lighthouse.
The proceeds of the action-packed weekend will be donated to the Falmouth RNLI, which will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of protecting lives at sea in the area. The station will be open to the public on Saturday 17th June for talks with the volunteers, tours and looks around the lifeboats. For this special anniversary, the RNLI have published a book to mark this heroic feat which will provide you with great memorabilia from the fantastic weekend and will take you on a journey from the beginning of their service in 1867, to present.
Come along and contribute to the incredible spirit that is ignited over this amazing weekend in Falmouth. Soak in the infectious, happy atmosphere and enjoy the activities and location. Why not take a look at some of our self-catering holidays in Falmouth and start to plan your weekend at the International Sea Shanty Festival?