Shanty Festival returns to town this weekend

The RX Shantymen SUS-150715-163237001
The RX Shantymen SUS-150715-163237001

One of the local areas much prized social events, The Hastings Shanty Festival, returns to the Stade Open Space this weekend.

The festival, which has gained widespread acclaim in the world of shanty singing, is part of the summer Stade Saturdays programme of free cultural events organised by Hastings Borough Council (HBC).

Now in its fourth year, The Hastings Shanty Festival starts with a traditional sing-around concert this evening (Friday July 17) at The Stag, All Saints Street, Hastings from 8:30pm. The audience is welcome to listen, join in or lead a song.

Throughout the afternoon on Saturday (July 18) there will be sea shanties and songs on the Stade Open Space 1-5pm, the Fishermen’s Museum and the White Rock Hotel 1-4.30pm.

The finale concert will be held at the Stade Open Space 7-9pm, followed by the ‘world premiere’ of the film ‘Priscilla MacBean, A Lifeboat Story’ made by talented Hastings filmmaker Sam Dobson.

One of the organisers of the event, Tom Kelly, says the event reflects Hastings’ increasing prominence in the maritime music world. “Sea Shanties have become an integral part of the music and cultural scene in the town,” he said.

“In addition to returning star performers, including Jim Mageean and Graham Knights, the festival is also presenting the wonderful duo, Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, and from France, Many a Mickle. Local groups Titus, The Hastings Shanty Singers and The RX Shantymen are also appearing.”

Cllr Dawn Poole, HBC’s lead member for regeneration communities and culture said: “Once again a selection of the finest performers of traditional sea shanties will descend upon Hastings seafront including our own wonderful Hastings Shanty Singers.”

Entry to all events is free. For further information about the festival contact Tom Kelly on (01424) 436182 .