Sea Music Festival

Sea Music Festival

Second weekend in June
The only event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, the annual Sea Music Festival takes place during the second weekend in June at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. Since 1980 the ships and exhibits representing a 19th-century maritime village along the Mystic River have been the backdrop for more than 40 musicians and chantey (pronounced SHANT-ee) singers from around the world. The festival, attracting about 10,000 visitors, is a tribute to the music that has been an integral part of shipboard life since the 16th century.
The festival offers performances of chanteys, or sailors' work songs, as well as "forebitters"—songs sung for entertainment. Most of the lyrics and melodies are of British or Irish origin, although many incorporate American fiddle tunes, African-American minstrel ditties, older ballads, and the popular music of the time. Chanteys helped the sailor maintain the rhythm of a tedious job. In fact, it was considered bad luck to sing a chantey when no work was being done.
The event features daytime and evening concerts Thursday through Sunday, symposia, workshops, and a dance. There is also a special preview concert for museum members that highlights a well-known performer each year.
CONTACTS:
Mystic Seaport-Museum of America and the Sea
75 Greenmanville Ave.
P.O. Box 6000
Mystic, CT 06355
888-973-2767 or 860-572-5315
www.mysticseaport.org