14th – 16th June 2019
The Falmouth International Sea Shanty, now in its 14th year, brought thousands of people to the town last weekend for 3
days of shanties by the sea. This year’s festival saw 66 groups performing in 25 different venues across the town, including
visitors from Brittany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland. A massive endeavour which takes year-round organisation by
the fantastic team.
The festival is a great opportunity for locals and tourists alike to explore Falmouth’s many pubs and live music venues.
From The Greenbank Hotel all the way to Event Square, venues were scattered along the main streets creating a vibrant
atmosphere for the waves of wandering crowds.
A spattering of rain didn’t deter anyone from the main outdoor stages where people crammed together to catch local favourites
including the famous Fishermen’s Friends and The Oggy Men. Others cosied up inside the pubs to hear stories from the sea.
Wherever you went a shanty could be heard on the breeze, many becoming a familiar tune. By the third day everyone was singing
along with Cornish classics. Whether you were from Cornwall, the UK or across the sea, there was a strong feeling of community.
Skinners Brewery Stage was packed for the finale on Sunday when all the performers banded together to reprise Drunken Sailor,
Cornwall My Home, Trelawny and many more songs.
Each of the bands are encouraged to take up the Betty Stogs Challenge and collect as many donations as they can for the RNLI
across the weekend. Brittany band, Nordet Chants de Marins were this year’s winners who raised £182 per head, followed by
Pirates of St Piran raising £115 per head. It was great to see so many people purchasing the shanty-themed re-usable cups,
a lovely festival keepsake designed by Seasalt Cornwall to reduce single-use plastic. The festival works closely with Plastic Free
Falmouth and the Town Council to improve sustainability initiatives every year.
Congratulations to everyone involved who made it a wonderful weekend and for all the money raised. See you next year!