Tens of thousands of people from all over the globe flocked to Falmouth at the weekend to enjoy the port’s 20th International Sea Shanty Festival.

The festival held in 27 venues across the town with 80 local, national and international sea shanty groups taking part was by far the event’s most successful year yet, in terms of boosted footfall numbers and trade for hospitality businesses.

Even Friday’s rain showers were no deterrent as revellers came out to bop and sway to the salty beats of their favourite bands.

Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) predicts the event to have delivered over £1.5 million for businesses in the town. Additionally, over £21,000 was recorded in donations for the RNLI at the closing of the event, however donations are still rolling in.

The ever-growing success, and the volume of inbound staying national and international visitors, meant that across the weekend there was very little overnight accommodation available either in Falmouth itself or in the towns and villages around the port.

The Sea Shanty event coincides with the Falmouth Classics each year which sees Falmouth hosting a three-day regatta of classic boat racing, parades and onshore events.

Executive Director of Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and Chair of Cornwall Towns Group and South West BIDs, Richard Wilcox says, “It is quite remarkable to reflect on Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival’s growth and success and the impact it continues to have on Falmouth 20 years on. It has become a cornerstone of our cultural calendar and is an essential driver of local economic activity.

“Anyone who came to Falmouth last weekend would have witnessed how the whole town came alive with the sound of music, with visitors from far and wide enjoying great hospitality in our fantastic local businesses. The economic uplift and footfall generation is significant and demonstrates the importance of events such as this.”

Vanessa Clark, Owner of IndiDog, said: “We love the Sea Shanty Festival and are excited to put time and investment into hosting a large marquee for the event as it’s so beneficial for Falmouth and ourselves as a brand.

“We feel being proactive in town events is really important. It is encouraging to see such amplified amounts of people out and about supporting Falmouth’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars.”

Jon Newton, general manager of Fives Cyderhouse said it really was the best Sea Shanty Festival ever. “Thank you to everyone who joined us, as well as our awesome staff who were spot on throughout the three days,” he said. “We thought the standard of sea shanty singing this year was as HIGH as it’s ever been.”

As one of the main sponsors, Sharp’s Brewing Co delivered its multi-award-winning portfolio of beers and ales to festivalgoers across the event as well as to performers to enjoy in venues across the town.

Sharp’s Brewing Company’s Brand Activation Manager, Nick White, said it was a “phenomenal few day”s for everyone in and around Falmouth.

“The Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival has done incredibly well, growing exponentially in scale, popularity and quality over recent years, thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm and efforts of all involved,” he said.

The main sponsors and partners, include The Greenbank Hotel, Seasalt Cornwall, Sharp’s Brewing Company, Falmouth Town Council, and event production partner, South West Bars and Events.