Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival

Shanty and Folk

Patrick & Miguel from France, Scheepsfolk from The Netherlands, 2 Anchors from Gloucester, Roaring Forties from Scunthorpe and Kimber’s Men and Monkey’s Fist both from Yorkshire, join the roster of live music acts for the first time at the 16th Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival on Saturday 5 September (10am to 6pm) and Sunday 6 September (10am to 5pm),

Shanty and folk music is performed throughout the festival on three South Quay stages. New for this year, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as part of its Town Centre Initiative, is funding an additional festival stage and entertainment in the Market Place, to better link the town centre to South Quay, encouraging the movement of visitors in both directions, and to provide yet another reason for people to visit the festival and the town centre. Eight shanty groups will play on both days, between 11am and about 3.30pm, with Dusmagrik Young People's Theatre Company also performing on the Sunday.

The Maritime Festival also features visiting ships, notably The Swedish Ship Götheborg, the world’s largest wooden sailing ship and the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Lord Nelson, street entertainment, arts, crafts and children’s activities, all celebrating Great Yarmouth’s proud maritime past and maritime future.

The event, organised by Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), takes place on South Quay; activities and entertainment are free (entry charge to go on The Götheborg). A donation of £1 per visitor towards Festival costs is welcomed.

The Shanty programme is managed by Great Yarmouth based Sue and John Griffiths who have been performing as shanty singers, The Mollyhawks, since the late 1990s.

Sue Griffiths said: “We have sung at every Maritime Festival and have organised the shanty singing programme since the second festival. We make sure that we have a mix of singers and musicians who are both good entertainers and experienced maritime and shanty singers. This is the second year that we have had more of an international flavour to the festival with singers from The Netherlands and France, as well others from the UK and local performers. There’s going to be some fantastic music on the four stages throughout the festival weekend.”

Patrick Denain & Miguel Biard from France perform songs from the French shanty tradition. Scheepsfolk from The Netherlands, comprising four musicians, performs nautical songs from America and Europe on accordion, guitar, mandolin, banjo, accordion, washboard, kazoo, harmonica, cajon and bass.

Roaring Forties were founded in 1995, Monkey’s Fist in 2000, Kimber’s Men in 2001 and 2 Anchors have been on the UK shanty scene since 2009. All four groups sing powerful sea shanties and nautical songs from around the world.

Suffolk based singer-songwriter John Ward returns for the second year joined by violinist Mario Price, with Lynne Ward on harmonies. They perform a mix of John’s original compositions and traditional songs, punctuated by Mario’s high-energy instrumentals.

Also at the festival are regulars Inner State and Capstan Full Strength. Wrentham Brass Band will also be there to start Sunday morning with a maritime programme.
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