Bunbury sets sail for inaugural Sea Shanty Festival coming next month

Claudette RizziBunbury Herald
The Anchormen are bringing together the Bunbury Sea Shanty Festival for the first time in 2024.
Camera IconThe Anchormen are bringing together the Bunbury Sea Shanty Festival for the first time in 2024. Credit: supplied

Sea shanty lovers in the South West will be in for a treat next month as the inaugural Sea Shanty Festival hits the shores of Bunbury.

Bunbury will play host to the city’s first festival of shanties which will take place across three days from June 28 as a celebration of all things seafaring.

It will feature a line-up of 24 bands from across Australia, including the Salty Sirens, the Salt Lake Shantymen and Phil Beck and the Sunset Coast Shanty Crew.

Founder of The Anchormen and chair of the organising committee Colin Anker said he hoped the event would showcase and foster a strong community connection.

“First of all, there’s a camaraderie with the other guys and we bring this joy to ourselves,” he said.

“Then what we like to do in The Anchormen is we like to take that joy that we have — the joy of singing — and then share that with other people.

“The Bunbury Sea Shanty Festival is a manifestation, an extension of that — it’s a joy we have together singing and sharing it with others.”

Mr Anker said the beauty of sea shanty singing was its accessibility, because in his words, “you don’t need to be a professional singer”.

The festival will include performances by traditional sea shanty groups and folk bands as well as bush dancing and international dances led by the Mucky Duck Bush Band and Perth International Dance.

Revellers can start the day off with a Bush Poets Breakfast featuring local wordsmiths sharing their verses, enter the Write Your Own Sea Shanty Competition, join singing workshops and watch a water cannon display by Svitzer.

This family-friendly festival will be held across multiple venues in Bunbury, including the city’s shores, Froth Craft Bunbrewery, Koombana Sailing Club and Missions to Seafarers.

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