This Years Festival

NEW: 2021 Artists released!

We at Harwich International Shanty Festival are both excited and nervous to be welcoming you all back to U.K’s Premier Shanty Festival. It would be an understatement to say that the past two years have been tremendously difficult for everyone in so many ways. We can only hope that we can all begin to look forward with more confidence and that this Festival will go some way towards celebrating a return to a more settled life.

There is a slightly different look to our 2021 Festival as we have endeavoured to anticipate in advance what Covid restrictions might still be in place in the Autumn. In 2021 we have fewer venues and fewer performers, but still maximum quality, talent and entertainment. Our ticketed events are condensed into just four main venues and we have to stress that any event could change at any time with little or no notice, if the pandemic situation changes.

That said there will still be plenty of recognisable favourites taking place, with concerts, boat cruises, train trips, street theatre, pirates and maritime crafts. Many of the events are free of charge and as many as possible are accessible to all. Our aim, as usual, is to fill the old town of Harwich with song, music and entertainment. And all with a nautical flavour befitting its maritime heritage.

The year 2020 marked the 400th Anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower to the New World. Harwich, in partnership with several other towns prominent in that story, had hoped to mark the anniversary with a year long programme of activities. We at HISF will be marking this important historical occasion within our programme this year, with several talks, concerts and shows, centred around Christopher Jones and the Mayflower ship. Do come and find out more about our towns fascinating past.

We hope that whether you are a newcomer to this festival or a regular visitor, you will enjoy the variety of entertainment which is on offer, join in with at least some of the activities and return to us in the future.

Finally, the Festival would not exist without the support of our various sponsors, festival venues, hard working committee and the local community. Thanks go to all of those.