Sixty bands to perform at new sea shanty festival in Weston

The Steepholmers

The Steepholmers are organising the festival. - Credit: The Steepholmers

Weston's first Sea Shanty and Folk Music Festival is taking place this summer, with 60 bands performing across 16 venues.

The festival is being organised by Weston-based shanty band The Steepholmers to raise vital funds for Weston RNLI and Weston Lions Club.

The event will run from August 6-8 with 60 bands performing 200 sets at a number of different venues across the town centre and seafront, including the Italian Gardens, the Grand Pier and the Tropicana.

Nigel Glanville-Gittins, event organiser and chairman of The Steepholmers said: "The festival will be a major event in the South West music calendar and after the challenges of the past 18 months, brings an opportunity for everyone to enjoy live music in a safe and family-friendly way.

"Sixty bands from all over the UK and Europe are set to appear and admission to all venues will be free of charge. You may also be lucky enough to witness some dastardly pirates appearing on our shores."

The Steepholmers are volunteering their time to put on the event for the local community.

The festival is being supported by North Somerset Council, Reaper Events, and Weston Town Council, and sponsored by participating venues and local businesses including the Grand Pier, Cavanna Homes, Apache Construction, Altinok Construction, Showtime Bar, and Green Acre Caravan Park.

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Nigel added: "All bands are very kindly performing for free in support of the chosen charities and all those attending will be able to donate at any of the many collection points across the town throughout the weekend.

"Sea shanties have long been very popular as a key part of Britain’s unique folk music scene. Essentially, they are work songs, commonly sung by sailors on board large merchant vessels and sometimes ships of the Royal Navy.

"When vessels converted to steam-power, the sea shanty ceased to serve a practical function, fortunately however, they survived into the modern era thanks to veteran sailors and folk song collectors, and when folk music became popular again in the modern era, so too did the sea shanty.

"Now, in Britain today, there are sea shanty bands all over the country, and the scene is growing year on year; and it’s easy to see why, they’re good toe-tapping fun for all the family."

A full programme of events is available on the festival website at www.wsmshantyfest.com.


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