Falmouth’s Virtual Sea Shanty Festival 2021 is finally here this weekend with a jam-packed evening full of singing, entertainment and an all-round shanty Saturday night party.

People can tune in to the live event from all over the world from 6pm (UK time) this Saturday, June 19 via Facebook or YouTube.

There are well over 40 group performances confirmed on an international scale, with performances from Cornwall to Brittany, Holland, Spain, Ireland and even America.

This will be combined with fun and light-hearted presenting from Betty Stogs, Richard Gates and John Warren and a sea shanty karaoke sing-along.

With last year’s event having been viewed over 100,000 times online and the recent trend of sea shanties, the organisers are hoping for a successful virtual event reaching all across the globe. Shanty fans are even planning their own “pirate parties” and “best dressed Betty” competitions from their own homes to get involved on the night.

The event will be held at Cornwall Channel studios, who have been working hard on the tech behind the scenes to ensure the event runs smoothly and can be viewed far and wide.

“With the success of last year’s virtual event and the physical festival being cancelled again this year, it seemed right to bring you all a bit of shanty spirit to enjoy from the comfort of your own homes again," said Richard Gates, chairman of Falmouth’s International Sea Shanty Committee and Falmouth Town Manager. "It was so well received for 2020 and we hope to reach even more people for 2021. Not only will people in Cornwall and across the UK be watching, but we are expecting viewers from as far as South Africa, Australia and the USA.

"It is also important to note that the event is completely FREE to view, but it would be great if people can donate to the festival via the Falmouth Sea Shanty website.”

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festivals chosen charity each year is the RNLI. This year, money from the virtual event will go to the RNLI and also towards future festivals. The shanty weekend is free for all to attend and relies on charitable funds to run the event, so for anyone wanting to donate to the festival, you can do so via falmouthseashanty.co.uk.

The festival has also brought back a selection of merchandise for people to purchase online. In light of the past 12 months, they have produced an uplifting CD with 40 tracks of well-known shanties, featuring The Longest Johns and Fisherman Friends.

Proceeds from the CD – which is also available on USB or download - will go to the Royal Cornwall Hospital COVID-19 Charity Fund and future festival. Not only can you purchase the CD but can also buy one of the renowned festival t-shirts or polos, back for 2021 in burgundy and available in various sizes. Visit the festival shop here falmouthseashanty.co.uk/festival-shop/

Betty Stogs raised an incredible £13,500 for the 2020 festival last year and is excited to be a part of this year's virtual event again. Each year at the Festival Betty challenges the Sea Shanty groups to try and beat the amazing total she raises. So not to miss out this year Betty has set-up her own on-line JustGiving Page justgiving.com/campaign/BeatBettyStogsChallenge2021 and is asking the groups to take up the Beat Betty challenge and try and beat her own target of £1,000.

“The Sea Shanty Festival is the highlight of my year, and I am really looking forward to another great evening of virtual shanties and suggest you get your bottles of fine Skinner’s ales in ready for the night!”, says Betty Stogs. The Beat Betty competition results will be announced live on the virtual event.

"A big thanks to festivals' main sponsors Seasalt Cornwall and Skinners Brewery for their continued support, and to the Greenbank Hotel for their involvement too. Falmouth International Sea Shanty would also like to welcome Goldmine Radio Station who have come on board to support the festival this year."

There will be information coming out every day next week on social media so keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook. Falmouth’s Virtual Festival Live event can be tuned into on Friday the 12th June 12 from 6pm via facebook.com/falmouthinternationalseashantyfestival/live or https://www.youtube.com/c/LoveFalmouthUK