Brise-Glace (Icebreaker) is a band of 4 French Canadian musicians/singers playing accordion, banjo, guitar, bodhran and washboard. They sing maritime folk from Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes, Brittany and North America with passion and energy. Like the crews of ships in centuries past, this crew come from a variety of different backgrounds and use rhythm and […]

Sheringham Shantymen

Sheringham Shantymen have been singing together since 1990, still with some of the original personnel. During that time they have entertained over 1000 audiences both at home and abroad. They support the RNLI as a main charity and are the only organisation outside the RNLI with permission to display that insignia within their badge, an […]

Festival Feedback

We have received the following remarks concerning the 2018 festival – many thanks to all who commented! “The Pirate Train was great fun” “keep up the good work” “easy going friendly atmosphere” “we love the whole atmosphere of the Festival” “the quality of acts at the Saturday evening concert is always excellent”

Dominic Dowsey-Magog

We are deeply saddened to tell you that the lovely Dominic Dowsey-Magog died on Monday this week. A kind, gentle man and wonderful shanty singer he will be much missed by all who knew him.

Les Corsaires de la Vesdre

From Limbourg in Belgium, Les Corsaires are keen travellers and have appeared at maritime festivals throughout Europe. They sing in several different languages and believe it is important that both audience and singers should have fun.

Dick Miles

Dick Miles has been singing and playing music since he was 13 and lived for many years in East Anglia before moving to the Republic of Ireland. He particularly loves the English concertina as an accompaniment and has written 2 tutor books for this instrument. A regular at maritime and folk festivals this is Dick’s […]

The Hoy Shanty Crew

The Hoy Shanty Crew sprung out of The Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Southend area’s longest running Folk Club. Singing rousing shanties together the group have performed extensively in Essex and beyond.


Liz Randall and Roger Resch are “Impressed” and have been singing together for several years, performing at a variety of clubs and festivals. At this years Festival Liz will also be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshop for beginners, which will compliment the “Harmony Singing” workshops for more experienced singers.

Ken Stephens

An accomplished singer, musician and performer, Ken Stephens has been singing sea songs for more years than he cares to remember and has written many shanties which have passed into the tradition. He has appeared at maritime festivals all over the world, singing both solo and with other performers. Here in Harwich he will be […]

London Sea Shanty Collective

The London Sea Shanty Collective formed after appearing at Hull Maritime Festival and UK Pride 2017. They have performed at London’s Canada Water Theatre, the Institute of Historical Research, and Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival. Members are from around the globe, singing shanties and maritime songs mainly in English but also in French, Swedish and Celtic languages.

Men Overboard

“Za Bortom!” (Men Overboard!) Men Overboard, from St. Petersburg, Russia, made a big impression on their first visit to Harwich last year and so we are pleased to welcome them back in 2018. Their original performances combine a mixture of traditional sea songs and shanties, including some Russian versions and exciting new material written by one […]

El Pony Pisador

We just had to have these guys back again! El Pony Pisador from Barcelona, made such a huge impression on the Festival last year with their vibrant, exciting and varied performances. Sea songs and shanties mix with havaneres, tuvan throat singing, tarantellas and yodelling for one of the most original acts on the scene.

Short Drag Roger

Hailing from the well-known fishing port of Oxford, Short Drag Roger like nothing better than travelling the country and beyond, singing traditional and not so traditional sea shanties. In the 17 years of their existence they have attended a variety of functions, countries and Festivals. They say they will sing to anyone, anywhere, anytime at […]

Shötley Crüe

Shotley Crue are a pocket choir of 7 men and women, who through their own unique arrangements, sing a wide range of songs about our relationship to the sea. They initially got together in 2014, in the Suffolk village of Shotley to sing at the Harwich International Shanty festival, and have been steadily broadening and […]

Telegraph Community Choir

Based in New Cross Gate, London, Telegraph Community Choir have performed mostly at London pubs, venues and festivals, but are excited about venturing as far as the Essex Coast to sing some of the shanties they love.

Tres Hombres Shanty Crew

Tres Hombres Shanty Crew from Eindhoven in the Netherlands sing traditional shanties, sea songs and forebitters in surprisingly close harmony. They are also proud ambassadors of the emission free shipping company.

Treasure Hunt

Our Annual Treasure Hunt has become a popular event in the Harwich calendar and this year takes place on Friday 29th December starting at mid-day at the Alma. Come and follow a set of cryptic clues taking you around the old town of Harwich. There are picture clues for youngsters and so this is a […]

Shanty Newsletter!

Are you signed up to our Shanty Newsletter yet? Get Harwich International Shanty Festival news direct into your inbox. Click here for the current & previous newsletters Sign up to our Festival Newsletter for news of shanty events throughout the year as well as advance notice of the festival itself. Once you complete the simple sign-up form […]

Joe Stead

I’m sure many of you will already know this, but we just wanted to share that Joe Stead passed away on March 29th after a long battle with cancer. He has been to our festival several times in the past, singing with Kimbers Men and he will be sadly missed by all in the Folk […]

Bob Walser

Musician, scholar and educator Bob Walser’s  musical career spans decades and continents. In the early 1980s he made his living as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport, one of the largest maritime museums in the USA. Since then he has presented folk music and dance programmes in schools across the USA, and performed as a singer, dance […]

Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes

Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes, a Franco-British group, were founded late one June evening in Corrigan’s Irish Pub in La Rochelle back in 2005. They alternate between French and English performing traditional shanties and songs of the sea both French and British as well as their own self-penned material. The group usually plays around its home port […]


Four guys, Bob, Rob, Bob and Allan, who have been singing and drinking together for well over 20 years. The majority of our material is a capella but we do use instruments: melodeon, concertina and bouzouki. Like most shanty groups we like a good rousing song, and like most  shanty groups we have tried to keep […]

Dominic Dowsey-Magog

Dom was well known on the Shanty scene throughout the U.K. and abroad, both as a solo artist and as a member of The Shanty Crew. He joined us in 2017 as a solo artist when his encyclopaedic knowledge of the sea, shanties and his powerful voice made him a welcome addition to the festival. Dom […]

la Morescha Nova

Our first ever Italian Shanty Crew! And la Morescha are rather special as they are the only group in Italy to be concentrating on Italian maritime heritage. Their repertoire covers songs from Roman times up to the present day and is accompanied by authentic baroque instruments. They will also be teaming up with Jack Coutts, […]

Stuart Pendrill

Stuart is a familiar face at our Festival, but this year, for the first time, he will be performing solo. A popular and lively entertainer Stuart has performed widely in the U.K. and worldwide. He currently lives in Holland, where he has joined a Dutch Shanty Crew, so his performance schedule has extended even further !


We are more than pleased to welcoming the Excelsior to Ha’Penny Pier for this year’s Shanty Festival. Excelsior will be open to the public to come aboard and for anyone still seeking accommodation over the festival weekend B&B is also available. Contact for more information

Jim Radford

One of the diminishing numbers of survivors from WW2, Jim worked on the Naval Wartime Rescue Tug Service, based in Harwich. An accomplished singer and performer, Jim will be hosting a “Meet the Artist” session, talking, singing and answering questions on this local subject, dear to the hearts of many.

Shep Woolley

Shep Woolley has been entertaining the crowds since performing at the local working men’s club as a young boy. Through Country & Western, Jazz, Skiffle and Rock’n’Roll he progressed to stand up comedy and a spell in the Royal Navy lent a nautical slant to his material. A professional musician of many years standing, Shep […]

Trim Rig & A Doxy

Trim Rig and a Doxy have been performing together at Folk and Shanty Festivals for 15 years or more and this will be their 3rd appearance at Harwich Shanty Festival. Julia’s distinctive melodeon style and Derek’s harmonious singing voice blend together to form a unique delivery with a warm and sometimes humorous slant. A popular […]