Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024

In Brief

Name: Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024
Date: Friday 14-Sunday 16 June 2024
Type: Traditional foamy folk music festival
Suitable for: Sea salts and ‘Wellerman’ fans
Location: Various venues across Falmouth. Click on the ‘website’ link for the full programme when it is announced
Price: Free (apart from any gala concerts)


Shiver me timbers, what’s that we see on the horizon? Why, it’s none other than the largest free nautical music and song festival in Europe! The Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024 hoves into view and drops anchor in Falmouth between Friday 14 and Sunday 16 June 2024. It’s going to be loud, moving and boatloads of fun.

The free-to-enjoy Falmouth shanty festival 2024 returns after massively successful renditions of the annual festival in June 2022 (which itself returned after only taking place virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19) and June 2023. Thousands of visitors steamed in to catch the ’23 edition, so expect even more landlubbers to get into full voice in ’24.

The sail-abrations were extra special in 2023, with 78 sea shanty groups performing in 27 venues across the town. There was an upbeat atmosphere throughout as so many visitors enjoyed some of the best Cornish sea shanty bands on the scene, alongside others from far and wide. Falmouth sang to the sounds of the sea once again and it’s all set to be even bigger and better in 2024.

Billed as a celebration of all things nautical and with a mission to keep the history of the sea alive, the event handily coincides with the famous Falmouth Classics 2024 boat festival, which is always a foamy success. Read about the 2024 Falmouth Classics: here.

As the first deepwater port of call for sailing ships ‘round here in Cornwall, Falmouth’s harbour and waterside alehouses have long been the backdrop for choruses of merry maritime music. So it’s fitting that this celebration of shanties, songs of the sea and traditional Cornish tunes finds its natural harbour in the town every year.

In years past, shanty groups from France, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland have all set sail for Cornwall to line up alongside their UK hosts. In fact, tens of thousands of visitors to the town have enjoyed hundreds of hours of free entertainment from countless shanty acts across so many local venues over past editions.

Between 14 and 16 June 2024, expect hordes of millennials joining in the chorus after Nathan Evans’ ‘Wellerman’ went viral in 2021 and introduced the sea shanty folk genre to a new generation of music lovers. Expect visitors and locals of all ages and backgrounds, in fact, all coming together to enjoy the timeless sea shanty.

Who is playing the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024? That’s yet to be announced but watch this space and we will let you know all the acts as they are revealed.

Venues for the 2023 festival included Falmouth RFC, Dolly’s, The Quayside Inn, The Falmouth Hotel, King Charles the Martyr Church, The Boathouse Falmouth, the famous Princess Pavilion and a main stage at The Greenbank Hotel. Expect many of these venues to once again be involved in 2024 alongside, perhaps, some new ones too.

Free sea shanty performances are held in various venues across Falmouth during the fest and then there’s also other events that take place that do have an entry fee. Discover the full programme details on the official website (click on the ‘website’ link above) as and when it is updated.

Whether you’re a landlubber or a seasoned seadog, though, be sure to set sail for the International Sea Shanty Festival between 14 and 16 June 2024. Enjoy a magical festival of folk on the fabulous foreshore of Falmouth (and catch the Falmouth Classics 2024 at the same time!)