Harwich International Shanty Festival

The Harwich International Shanty Festival is getting closer.  Now in its 12th year and the festival offers even more entertainment, with lots of new features. There are three days of music and singing throughout Harwich, in Essex, from 13-15 October 2017.

There are several workshops and talks taking place over the course of the festival, some old favourites and some completely new.

Bob Walser, a well known educator from the USA as well as a musician and dance leader, is presenting a series of new workshops called ‘The Madison Collection‘ based on the work of James Madison Carpenter.

In the 1930s James Madison Carpenter gathered all the shanty songs he could find and stored them on wax cylinders and typewritten pages. For years the songs were hidden away – lost. Now, with the work of the James Madison Carpenter Project, these songs have come back to life First at Mystic Seaport Museum and, this summer, in their home waters of the Firth.

Since 2002 Bob has been working on a project with Aberdeen University to restore these songs and is now sharing his knowledge in three workshops. The first one covering the collection of sea songs, shanties, manuscripts and sound recordings made mainly in the 1920/30s, the second demonstrating the new Madison Collection online service.  Songs will be able to be downloaded from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) via the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). The third session covers the traditional Oyster Dredging songs from the Firth of Forth.

These promise to be extremely interesting and informative workshops for anyone interested in the old shanty songs.

For further information on this, and other workshops/events, please see www.harwichshantyfestival.co.uk.

We are actively looking for stewards at the Festival. Join in with a great team of people and see the festival ‘from the inside’. In return for some help over the weekend you will receive a Stewards’ Wristband offering free access to most events.

If this appeals to you, please email: info@harwichshantyfestival.co.uk