Krakow Sea Shanty Festival


Start Date: 2018-02-22

End Date: 2018-02-25


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When you first learn that Krakow, a city some 600 km from the coast, hosts one of Europe’s largest sea shanty festivals, it sounds like a surreal joke, or a particularly far-fetched April Fool’s prank. But it’s completely true – Krakow really does have a sea shanty festival and thousands of people really do come from all over the world to listen to rollicking tunes about brine-lashed mariners in cellar bars hundreds of nautical miles away from any actual brine.

The idea of a shanty festival in Krakow first occurred to the, slightly loopy, organisers in 1981, and there has been one every year since. Now called the International Festival of Sea Songs – Shanties (Międzynarodowy Festiwal Piosenki Żeglarskiej Shanties) the event is usually held in February and features dozens of artists and bands, plus concerts for kids, photography exhibitions and other events designed to appeal to those with a romance for the briny deep.

Concerts held during the shanty festival are high-energy affairs with plenty of thigh-slapping, skirt-swirling action. Audiences are not shy about joining in. Many of these events are held in Krakow’s Stary Port bar – a venue with a long traditional of vigorous live music.


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