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.

Once again the festival is based in The Met on Argyle Road, West Cliff where you will find our box office, Shop Point and the main venue for ticketed events.

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. Please note the Weekend Ticket does not include this concert - an extra ticket is required.

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

There's a great variety of activities across the weekend including Maritime – themed concerts, workshops, singarounds, sessions and the popular 'Song for the Sea' song competition. For the first time this year, there will also be a maritime photo competition, judged by Mike Shaw from the Sutcliffe Gallery.

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”



Special WW1 themed events


We have been working throughout 2015 and 2016 with young people from Whitby and the surrounding area to research events that took place in the town during the Great War and create musical and theatrical performances based on this research. Check out the Programme for more info....