Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
Location
Cutty Sark
Date and Times Saturday 18 November 2023 | 10am - 4.30pm
Prices Free with entry to ship

Cutty Sark hosts its third Sea Shanty Festival! 

In celebration of Cutty Sark's 154th birthday, bands from across the UK and beyond will unite in singing traditional maritime songs on board the iconic tea clipper.

Here's who will be performing:

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Shanty group, The Silver Darlings, stood rural outdoors with ship items

The Silver Darlings 

The Silver Darlings are an all-female sea shanty crew hailing from Southend-on-Sea in Essex. They sing shanties, songs of the sea and ditties nautical. They love the storytelling aspect to shanty-singing and are passionately committed to ensuring that these songs remain in the public domain and are not lost at sea!

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LSSC on steps indoors

The London Sea Shanty Collective  

Recently returned from international shanty festivals in France and Germany, the London Sea Shanty Collective continues to keep shanties and songs of the sea alive and relevant to today, arranging traditional songs, sometimes with a modern twist, and expanding the repertoire with their own compositions. 

They sing at festivals and in national institutions, pubs, clubs, care homes, churches, cathedrals and on barges and ships. Plus, most notably in the case of the magnificent Cutty Sark, they sing under them too!

As a non-auditioning community choir, they're open to all and made up of women and men of all ages from around the world who are committed to social justice, equality, and the joy of singing. 

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HogEye Men on the street level in front of Cutty Sark

The HogEye Men 

With almost 20 years of experience as a group singing shanties and maritime songs to audiences around the country, including a monthly residency on Cutty Sark since 2019, The HogEye Men are respected as London's primary exponents of these unaccompanied working songs from a past age. The group blends strong voices and subtle harmonies to give audiences a taste of the true nature of the traditional shanty form, while also offering them a selection of more up-to-date tales of the sea.

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Shanty group, Swinging the lead, stood on the weather deck of Cutty Sark

Swinging the Lead

Cutty Sark's resident sea shanty singers since 2011 will once again be on board to inform and entertain visitors in learning and appreciating the working songs of the tall ship era. All have sea-going experience, including sailing on tall ships and a keen interest in the sea and maritime matters. 

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Pagoda arts performing in a hall on traditional East Asian instruments

Pagoda arts

Our Guzheng and Erhu duet brings 2000-year-old music to a 21st-century audience. Since 2006, when Zi Lan started to teach Guzheng at the Pagoda, her students have performed at festivals and in music clubs around Liverpool, Warrington and North Wales. This performance will feature Fishermen Singing at Night - a traditional piece about fishermen returning home after a long day of work. You will also hear folk sea and river songs from various provinces of China.

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Sonny Brazil standing playing a concertina in a dark room

Sonny Brazil

Sonny Brazil is a folk singer and Squeeze Box player from the southeast of England. Raised in South East London and Brighton, Sonny dwells among the Bargee Traveller Community, living and playing music as they have for centuries on the inland waterways of England. Sonny lives entrenched in the world of English folk culture, working as a crew member on the Thames Sailing Barges and living on the canals; they are one of the founding members of the folk collective Goblin Band described by Martin Carthy as "The band we've been waiting for". 

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John Wheeler in the dry berth showing a family rope and knots

Sailor knots  

Do you know your knots, from Hitches and Bends to Bights and Loops? John, one of our Ship Explainers, will help you learn this key aspect of seafaring.

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A sketch book with sailor illustrations in ink and scrawled lyrics to a sea shanty

Event schedule

(Timings may vary on the day)

Lower Hold  

  • 10.30 - Swinging the Lead 

  • 11.30 - Shanty workshop 

  • 12.00 - HogEye Men  

  • 12.45 - Sonny Brazil  

  • 13.30 - Pagoda Arts  

  • 14.15 - Silver Darlings  

  • 15.00 - Sonny Brazil  

  • 15.45 - Pagoda Arts  

Dry Berth 

  • 10.30 - HogEye Men  

  • 11.15 - Dockworker performance  

  • 12.00 - Swinging the Lead  

  • 12.45 - Silver Darlings  

  • 13.30 - Dockworker performance  

  • 14:30 - St Joseph’s Singers and Plumcroft Voices Perform with Stretto Music

  • 15.15 - London Sea Shanty Collective  

  • 15:45 - LSSC drop-in 20 minute workshop 

  • 16:15 - Big singalong with all performers 

What’s On

Cutty Sark Toddler Time
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Family fun

Cutty Sark Toddler Time

Listen, learn and play at Cutty Sark: bring your under-5s on a different adventure every week!
Wednesdays | 10.30am | 11.30am | 1.00pm | 2.00pm
£5 per adult
Cutty Sark
Meet the characters of Cutty Sark
James Robson the cook, one of the characters you can meet on board Cutty Sark. He wears a flat cap and red scarf, and is pointing at the ship's rigging
Family fun

Meet the characters of Cutty Sark

Meet colourful characters from Cutty Sark’s past and hear astonishing stories about life at sea in the age of sail
Weekends and Fri-Mon in school holidays | 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm
Included with entry to Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Shipkeeping in action
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Talks and tours

Shipkeeping in action

This is your chance to meet the team who care for and conserve Cutty Sark
Monthly | See page for details
Free for Cutty Sark ticket holders
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark Comedy
Events and festivals | Museum Lates

Cutty Sark Comedy

Join us in the Lower Hold of the famous tea clipper for a fantastic evening of stand-up comedy
31 March and 26 May 2024 | 6.30pm-8.30pm (Doors open at 6pm)
Adult: £18.00 | Members: £16.00
Cutty Sark
Members' tours of Cutty Sark
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Talks and tours | Member events

Members' tours of Cutty Sark

Discover the history of the iconic vessel with an exclusive tour for Members.
Friday 19 April, Friday 26 April, Friday 3 May and Friday 10 May | 11am-12pm
Free for Members – booking required
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark Concert - The Old Time Sailors
Image of band of people under the copper hull of Cutty Sark sailing ship, standing on a stage wearing shirts and paper bag trousers, holding instruments. Behind them are an array of ship's figureheads.
Events and festivals | Museum Lates

Cutty Sark Concert - The Old Time Sailors

Sail back in time with us for an immersive experience of traditional seafaring music underneath the Cutty Sark
Thursday 25 April 2024 | 7.30 - 10pm
Adult: £23 | Member: £21 | Young person/student: £21
Cutty Sark

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