Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival goes virtual to raise spirits and funds for RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Despite the cancellation of Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers have arranged a Virtual Shanty Festival which will take place this Friday 12 June and fundraise for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Stacie Nicoll

Falmouth fundraising hero Betty Stogs

Every year, Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival normally attracts around 60,000 people to the Cornish seaside town, where sea shanty bands fill the town’s streets and venues with music. Although that could not happen this year, thousands of people from all over the world are expected to tune in to the free Virtual Shanty Festival on Facebook Live this Friday (12 June).

Over 30 group performances are confirmed, celebrating global talent from Cornwall to Brittany, Holland, Spain and Ireland. This combined with fun and light-hearted presenting from Betty Stogs and John Warren, and some fabulous footage of Falmouth from 3Deep Aerial, offers a night not to be missed. 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 lockdown halting the fundraising events that power the RNLI’s lifesaving service, the health crisis has hit the charity’s income hard. Yet our dedicated volunteer crews have remained on call 24/7 throughout these difficult times, with the charity adapting its procedures and providing additional protective equipment to keep both our volunteers and the public safe. This year, those enjoying the Virtual Shanty Festival can donate to the RNLI via a JustGiving page.

The bands themselves have been invited to take up the Beat Betty challenge where, each year, she challenges the Sea Shanty groups to try and beat the amazing total she raises. Last year, Betty Stogs single-handedly raised an incredible £5610 for RNLI at the festival and is excited to be a part of this years’ virtual event. So not to miss out this year - Betty has set up her own online JustGiving page where she is challenging the groups to see if they can bear her own £1,000 target.

“The Sea Shanty Festival is the highlight of my year and so I was gutted when it had to be cancelled. I am really looking forward to a great evening of virtual shanties and suggest you get your bottles of fine Skinners ales in ready for the night!”, says Betty Stogs. The Beat Betty competition results will be announced live on the virtual event.

There will be information coming out every day this week on the festival’s social media channels so do keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook. Falmouth’s Virtual Festival Live event is taking place 6-9pm on Friday on their Facebook page.

Notes to editors

· People can attend the Virtual Shanty Festival on Friday 12 June from 6pm via this link: https://www.facebook.com/falmouthinternationalseashantyfestival/live.

· Those tuning in on Friday can donate via this Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnlifalmouth-sea-shanty-festival

· The Beat Betty Stogs JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/beatbettystogschallenge

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Marianne Quinn (Regional Media Officer), on Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847.

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival

Stacie Nicoll

Although it had to be cancelled, the event normally brings thousands of visitors to Falmouth

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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