Albany Shanty Festival Set to return in July 2021
We were extremely disappointed to have to cancel the shanty festival this year. It has, however, given us time to reflect on how and when we organise the event.
Since cancelling, we have had a number of our musician friends asking if the event could be rescheduled for later in the year. This question was often accompanied with the observation that the festival would work really well in the winter. Ideas started bouncing around and we began to envisage an event that celebrates the cold dark months by inviting visitors to join us by the fire for good food and drinks, warm hospitality and traditional maritime folk music. This idea grew then into a wider celebration of the region's maritime history.
Albany has a tremendous maritime history, equal to any port city in the world, with ancient Aboriginal fish traps, a replica tall ship and museum, a historic jail with carved graffiti from imprisoned mariners, a whaling museum with whale skeletons, harpoons and a whaling ship, a maritime foundation that preserves local folk history and crafts, a vibrant sailing club, whale watching tour boats, a fishing industry providing fresh fish and seafood, the UWA marine science programme AND Australia’s ONLY shanty music festival.
So we are proposing that the Shanty Festival take place in the middle weekend of the school holidays in early July as part of an umbrella Maritime Festival.
We are at the early stage of planning, but we are confident that all the interested groups and the City of Albany will work together to make this a reality.