About Our Festival

Whitby Sea Festival is an annual festival which takes place in and around the historic Yorkshire seaport of Whitby, one of Britain's premier maritime heritage sites.

The festival celebrates Whitby and the Yorkshire Coast's proud connections to fishing, the sea and maritime heritage.

Since its beginnings in 1993 as The Captain Cook Festival and then for 12 years at Seafest in Scarborough, the event has staged some of the biggest gatherings of sea balladeers, shantymen, folk musicians and singers in the UK.

The festival promotes local musicians alongside those with international acclaim. So far, our programme has included the cream of the folk, roots, sea music and the shanty world .We have also enjoyed music from other nations including Senegal, Sicily, Canada, Eire, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, France and the USA.

This year, all of our indoor events take place at the wonderful Whitby Pavilion. Here you can enjoy concerts, open mic's, the popular Song for the Sea Competition, sessions, workshops, kids stuff and trade stalls. It's also the home of the Festival Box Office plus the merchandise and Information points.


Join us at the Welcome Concert on Friday Evening in the Northern Lights Suite. a relaxed and enjoyable introduction to some of the artists performing across the weekend.

On Saturday Evening we present 'Whitby Ahoy!' - our Grand Festival Concert, at the Whitby Pavilion Theatre. Tickets can be purchased on this site or from www.whitbypavilion.co.uk.

If a Gala Concert isn't your thing, theres a BIG SING in the Northern Lights Suite on Saturday evening, where you can join in. Festival artists will be doing feature spots and there's room for songs & tunes from the floor too.

During Sunday there will also be Shanties and Sea Songs aplenty at the Bandstand – free for all to enjoy so make sure to catch them.

On Sunday afternoon, please be sure to come along to support our RNLI fundraising concert. Great music for a great cause!

Whitby Sea Festival brings the town alive with the sound of Shanties and Sea Songs.

“A great little Festival with the sea at it's heart”

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