The Harwich International Shanty Festival was set up in 2006 to organise and co-ordinate an annual sea shanty festival over a weekend in October.
Through concerts, ‘singarounds’, pub sessions, talks and workshops, the history and heritage of Harwich as part of the British seafaring nation is celebrated, promoted and perpetuated by local people and groups. This is unique for the county of Essex and is attracting audiences countrywide and beyond.
The festival celebrates Harwich’s unique, important and sometimes overlooked great maritime past. Shanty singers from all over the world come to Harwich on the second weekend in October and the whole town is filled with music and colour.
The people from Harwich have taken the festival to their hearts and large numbers come every year to enjoy the atmosphere. Local businesses also benefit from a large influx of tourists from farther afield, especially at an otherwise quiet time of year