Media release: Sea Shanties will roar out again this June over Oban’s Harbour


THE Oban International Shanty Festival is set to return to venues around the harbour bringing the cream of shanty singing to the Gateway to the Isles.

Headline acts, The Keelers from the north of England, and Nordet Chant de Marins from France are set to lead an array of musical talent and attract tourists and locals alike to Oban Harbour, over the weekend 23-25 June.

There will be something for everyone, young and old alike, in this celebration of the sea and the songs that sailors once sang to make their work easier that now are renowned for their easy joining-in choruses and marvellously evocative lyrics – used in computer games Sea of Thieves and Assassin’s Creed, and of course the 2020 TikTok sensation and number one hit by Nathan Evans of ‘The Wellerman’.

As well as performances in such venues as The Rockfield Centre, The Argyllshire Gathering, the CalMac Ferry Terminal and harbour bars, there will be plenty of ways to find out more about the genre in workshops based in the Rockfield Centre/ From learning to play ‘the bones’ from bones’ virtuoso, Hans Weehuizen, to learning a shanty or two from the masters of the form, The Keelers, or even learn a Gaelic sea song.

Children are not forgotten. Well-known story-teller, Shona Cowan, will give them some tips for avoiding magical beasts and Bridie O’Dowd will run a craft workshop to make all manner of things from friendship bracelets to treasure maps!

The Rockfield Centre will also host an art/photographic competition which will culminate in an exhibition at the centre.

More details of that can be had at:

What people said about the 2022 Oban International Shanty Festival:

• “I was listening to the concert down in the square and on the pier and it was wonderful.”

• “… really nice to have something different. I’ve never heard shanty music before. We could hear the session coming from down at station square.”

• “I was hearing from the taxi-drivers that all their customers were delighted to hear [the music] at the station square when they arrived and left.”

• “It is fantastic! We came all the way from Washington State in USA for this Festival. We wanted to come to the UK but the Shanty Festival was how we decided to come to Oban.”

• “Its brought a lot of business to the town as well.”

• “This is great for the town. Brings people into the town in a very positive way.”

Further information including a full programme and how to book is available at: or

Oban International Shanty Festival is organised by the Glasgow Branch of the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) It has received funding support from the Bid 4 Oban and Covid Recovery related funding from the National TMSA to support the 2023 event.


Media contact –  Tom Malone –

Image caption – Cask is a Shanty daughter and father duo. Singing new and old shanties and forebitters, plus seasongs and will be performing at the Oban International Shanty Festival

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Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07922533915