Are you looking to see some shanty music this year?
Unfortunately, the Gloucester Shanty Festival will not be running this year, however we’ve searched high and low to find a few more festivals that should help you scratch that shanty itch.
Shanty festivals are family-friendly events that are perfect for people from all walks of life. Whether you’re an expert of oven cleaning or a butcher from Shaftesbury, anyone can appreciate the simple pleasures involved with attending shanty festival such as this one. Although most of these festivals are within the UK, there are a couple that are a little further afield. If you plan far ahead and book your accommodation well in advance you could find yourself singing a merry tune with a crew of new mates in a foreign land – just like a real sailor!
The majority of these festivals are free of charge, but it’s always worth checking out their websites before you make your plans:
Rosses Point Shanty Festival
Traditional seafaring music collides with Irish culture at this well-established international shanty fest. Rosses Point is a truly enigmatic location to visit that’s made even more atmospheric when hundreds of maritime musicians descend upon it. With a tiny population of less than 1000, this tiny Irish festival has a strong relationship with the sea; no less than three lighthouses are dotted along the coastline, warding passing ships away from the treacherous rocks at night. The festival is free of charge but you will need to book your accommodation well in advance as there are not many options in such a small village.
15th – 17th June 2018, Rosses Poing, Co. Sligo, Ireland
Sea Chantey Festival
Now in its 26th year, this national festival gives you the perfect excuse to jump on a plane to San Diego. Run by the city’s Maritime Museum, this curated event is both historically accurate and several barrels of laughs. Maritime musicians from across America travel to the Sea Chantey Festival to perform at this one-day event which also sees the harbour occupied by a historical sail boat. Enjoy a whole day’s worth of maritime music and also learn what it was like to work and live aboard a seafaring vessel!
26th August 2018, San Diego, California, USA
Folk on the Dock
Once a successful port city, Liverpool’s Albert Dock no longer serves the city in that capacity. Since its regeneration in 1984 the waterfront location has served as both a tourist attraction and a perfect venue for live music events. Although Folk on the Dock, as the name suggests, is concerned with Folk music in general it also incorporates the Liverpool Shanty Festival, curated by long-time shanty performers Julia and Derek Batters. Performing under the name of Trim Rig & Doxy, this duo invite musicians from Norway, Belgium and Ireland to perform on stages all around the Albert Dock including inside the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
25th – 27th August 2018, Liverpool, UK
St. Ives Shanty Shout
Run in support of the RNLI and Children’s Hospice, this shanty festival was only started in 2016 but it has quickly become a favourite annual event amongst the Cornish locals. 2017’s edition saw an impressive lineup of performers assembled including Figurehead, Oggymen and Nauti Buoys – all of whom helped to raise £1830 for the two charities. Pubs around the popular tourist town open up their doors to visitors and proceeds from beer sales contribute to the fundraising making this event a real winner in our eyes.
23rd – 24th November 2018, St. Ives, UK