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Port Isaac Shanty Festival 2024

In Brief

Name: Port Isaac Shanty Festival 2024
Date: Friday 19-Sunday 21 April 2024
Times: Various times for various shows, so check the official website
Type:
A Port Isaac sea shanty festival that’s both varied and welcoming
Suitable for: Drunken sailors and wellermen (and everyone else who loves a good shanty!)
Location: (Likely) Port Isaac Playing Field at the entrance to Port Isaac, as well as other venues like Port Isaac Village Hall in Trewetha Lane
Prices: Free. Yes, it’s all entirely free and no tickets are necessary

THE PORT ISAAC SHANTY FESTIVAL 2024 IN CORNWALL GETS INTO FULL VOICE BETWEEN FRIDAY 19 AND SUNDAY 21 APRIL 2024. YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF RUM IN ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERSIDE VILLAGES IN THE WORLD…

Well, blow the man down! What the blazes is this? It’s one of Cornwall’s best up-and-coming sea shanty festivals, that’s what it is.

The Port Isaac Shanty Festival has become an institution on the north coast, not least because it happens all across the pretty little village of Port Isaac, which is famous for its harbour, its relaxed vibe, its tales of the sea and its, well, Doc Martin (see here if you’re looking for him) and Fisherman’s Friends (see here if you’re looking for them).

In fact, it’s worth flagging up the success of the Fisherman’s Friends here because these Port Isaac lads, who formed a folk music group and started performing locally in the early ’90s before signing a record deal in 2010 and going stratospheric, put the sea shanty at the front and centre of the village (quite literally, as they used to sing al fresco at the harbourfront).

But this lively Port Isaac sea shanty festival has been carrying on these vocal traditions of late and introducing both locals and visitors to all sorts of new and established shanty acts.

The festival was started up in September 2019. Its 2021 edition was heralded as a massive success, with a whopping £16,072 being raised by all who attended. That money went towards a new roof for Port Isaac Village Hall. A total of 29 sea shanty acts from far and wide gave their time for no fee and they played across the village, including in the village hall, in the Old School Hotel in Fore Street, in pubs, in restaurants, in fields, in private gardens and al fresco next to the harbour. The whole village came alive with the sound of the sea shanty.

And alive with the sound of sea shanties it was again in April 2023 as another weekend of maritime-inspired music was heralded as a success. The fest was based in a massive marquee with a main stage at the Port Isaac Playing Field, which is at the entrance to the village and is within easy walking distance of the rest of the village. Venues like The Golden Lion, The Mote Restaurant and Port Isaac Village Hall in Trewetha Lane hosted gigs. Star acts included Acappella Moonshine, Femmes de la Mer and Five Men Not Called Matt.

When is the 2024 Port Isaac Shanty Festival? On Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April 2024.

And who will play the fest? Watch this space. Expect more than 30 acts in venues across the village. Also expect every single event to be free to attend, as is the tradition of this shanty festival. That’s right. No tickets needed. You just need yourself and your ears.

Prepare for an incredible tribute to the long and storied history of the sea shanty as Port Isaac enjoys one of its most colourful and all-inclusive festivals of the year in 2024. All are invited, whether you’re a local, a visitor or just a drunken sailor…