The thirteenth edition of the Paimpol Sea Shanty and World Sea Music Festival certainly fulfilled its potential. 

It is too early as yet for a detailed assessment, but attendance should roughly equal that of the very successful 2015 edition (155,000 visitors).  What did we get? An outstanding Friday, an extremely busy Saturday and a quieter but very sunny Sunday! The weather was fine and the wind favourable… except for the Nizwa, a non-motorised dhow from Oman, unable to stem the currents under sail. The Belle Poule, also announced, had to forgo their trip due to some damage. Hopefully, they will be able to make it next time.

The 2017 edition has strengthened the Sea Shanty Festival’s position among Brittany’s main cultural events, ranking in the top 4 of Breton festivals, alongside the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the Vieilles Charrues and Hellfest.

The Festival’s organising team offers their warmest thanks to all who contributed to the success of the event: the private and institutional partners, the sponsors, the 1,700 volunteers, the staff members, the associations, the ships of all sizes and their crews, the performers and technicians, the service providers who came as backup (city and community technical services, ADTM, police, gendarmerie…). And of course… you!      

With 7 stages, 160 bands, 2000 artists, 200 traditional ships, the Sea Shanty Festival has proved that the values they represent – preserving roots while cultivating openness, solidarity, authenticity and creativity – meet with a positive response and an attentive ear. And they intend to keep up the good work. The Sea Shanty Festival has truly established itself as a crossroad where cultures from all over the world meet, while promoting a Breton identity both generous and welcoming. There, peoples and cultures interact, generations mingle, locals and visitors socialize… It is more than ever what it aimed to be: a fantastic, people-oriented and human-sized festival.

All wasn’t perfect, of course, as can be expected. Such a huge “machinery” is not set in motion for 4 straight days without a few hiccups along the way. New opportunities for improvement arose, which the Festival fully intends to explore, while keeping in tune with both volunteers and festival-goers.

Meanwhile, the organising team hopes to see you all back at Paimpol harbour on August 2nd, 3rd & 4th 2019. Not just for any other edition either… Come and join us for the Sea Shanty Festival’s 30th anniversary!

Pierre Morvan

President of the Sea Shanty Festival Association

The Teaser #PL2017

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