TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
January is the time of New Year resolutions, from booking holiday get-aways for the rest of the year and allowing yourself to experience new things. So, if any of these things ring a bell it may be time to book your Falmouth get-away. If you’re looking to experience authentic sea-side life there is no better time to visit Falmouth than in June, when the renowned Sea Shanty Festival brings cheer and liveliness to the quaint, sea-side town. This festival is one of the biggest maritime music concerts to be held anywhere in Europe, and should not be missed!
The Sea Shanty Festival is set to commence on the 16 June this year, and will run until the 18. The festival will bring you entertainment from over 50 shanty groups, amongst 20 venues. You can expect an astonishing and exciting 250-hours of shanty singing! The little town of Falmouth will be full of spirit during these days, where the air will come alive with the sound of music, singing and the cheers from the community, which will entice and welcome anyone to join in. Previous festivals have included appearances from the likes of Rum & Shrub, Exmouth Shantymen and Fisherman’s Friends.
The main stages of the festival are at the Custom House Quay, Events Square, known as Discovery Quay, or The Moor. But for those who prefer a smaller crowd, venues across town, including public houses, King Charles, the Martyr church, cafes and mobile performing spots along the streets will be available to enjoy the music.
The shanty songs, and festival, derives from work songs that were sung on Clipper ships and trading vessels across the world. As the ships travelled around, so did the songs. And just like a game of Chinese whispers, as the songs passed from crew to crew, the words evolved and changed, with many a shantyman adapting the words when he had forgotten the lyrics!
As you can imagine, the conditions and long working hours on these voyages would often make the seamen long for home. These songs were a chance for the men to express their feelings of nostalgia and the complaints of work, without the fear of being punished.
The festival will be a chance for you to learn a few traditional shanty songs, as well as some modern ones. Additionally, you could even pick up a few foreign words, learning the lingo of French, Dutch, Norwegian and even the traditional Cornish language!
So, as you can expect, the Sea Shanty attracts audiences from all over the world and can be a fantastic event to attend.
Organisers of the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival are already underway planning and organising this famous Falmouth tradition. In aid to fundraise funds for this momentous occasion, the organisers have arranged a fundraising concert at the Falmouth Watersports Centre, to be held on the 28 January.
With the success of last year’s fundraisers still ringing in the organisers ears, this fundraising event, the first of the year, is set to follow the same success. If you’re down in Falmouth enjoying a holiday, or will soon be setting off for Falmouth, be sure to purchase a ticket from the new Cornish Store in Arwenack Street or at the venue for only £8!
The Watersports centre will be filled with a multitude of musical professionals, seeing the likes of the Bounding Main, a five part acapella group from America, who boast an international fan base. Other groups will be visiting from Ireland, Brittany and wider France, as well as further afield from our neighbours in Norway and The Netherlands.
Whilst Falmouth will be serving up their talents in the form of a 12-strong, all lady sea shanty group, known as Femmes de la Mer. Fundraising organisers have also been able to secure a performance from The Oggymen, as well as the Bamaluz Bootleggers, an up and coming group from picturesque St Ives. Their name originates from a tiny beach between the two large and iconic ones in St Ives. Expect a fresh and lively take on the traditional shanty and Cornish songs.
Adding to the entertainment will be a raffle drawn throughout the evening, with generous prizes up for grabs. Whilst refreshments will be available throughout the fundraiser and will even include some delicious paella to try.
If you are wanting to keep up to date with the festival, be sure to check out the Sea Shanty website, Twitter or Facebook. If you’re feeling inspired to visit, be sure to book your family resorts. Falmouth accommodation can quickly book up, as people all around the world look to visit for this spectacular occasion.