2019 Programme is under construction!

2018 Programme

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Festival Programme 2018

Friday June 15th

Friday night is dedicated to music song and fun.

International Shanty Concert, Church of Ireland 8pm "Across the Sea"

We kick off the night early with an intimate concert “Songs for the lifeboat” at the Church of Ireland Rosses Point. The concert features groups from at home and abroad - Friends of Folk, Trim Rig and a Doxy, The Last Watch, Femmes des Marins and Bernie Davis. Shanty tonsils will be limbering up for an 8pm start and all proceeds from the tickets (€10) go to the RNLI.

Onwards Shanty Sessions, Village Hostelries, 9pm onwards

From 930pm onwards  the Local Bars have a full programme, where you can see shanties and sea songs from international and local shanty groups followed by an open mic session. This will be from 930 - 11pm in Harry's Bar, Austies Bar, The Driftwood and the Golf Club from 930 to 11pm.

Saturday June 16th

On Saturday, shanties hit the street throughout the village: We host a literary event, specialised workshops and the main festival concert.

The Duck, Rowing, Swim and Boat Races start at the Pier but are viewable from the Village Road.

Literary Event - Festival Marquee 1230pm

Things take a literary twist at 1230 in the Marquee with the "Spoken Word". Growing each year in popularity you can join local an other writers for prose and poetry on sea them & "The Recitation".

Coney Island Session

The History of Shanties - Lifeboat Station Various Times and Sunday at 2pm

One fascinating festival highlight -Bernie Davis presents a lighthearted look at the role and origin of shanties in the lifeboat station Sunday at 2pm and at other times in the marquee by Jim Coor presents a hands on session.

Maugherow Cup Shanty Race

Informal sessions, Around Rosses Point from 2-5pm and 9pm on

From 2pm to 5pm there will be music outside Austies/Harrys/The Driftwood and throughout the village weather permitting.

From 9 to 11pm Interntaional and local Shanty and music Groups will sing in Austies, The Driftwood and Harry's. There will also be an opportunity for open mic afterwards in each. Don't miss the craic as the village echoes to the sound of shanties!

Channel Cup Swim 8pm from Sligo Yacht Club

Due to tidal state, this years Channel Cup Swim will take place at the later time of 8pm. It is one of Rosses Point's most hotly contested events! The swim from the Metal Man to the January perch with over 100 swimmers taking part.

Go As You Please Race, 8pm

A traditional Rosses Point race of many years standing, the Go as you Please involves teams of two one to row and a one to run, racing it out on a course starting opposite Hacketts on the Prom, to Oyster Island and round its Lighthouse back to the Point for a circuit starting and finishing at the Pier Carpark.
If you wish to enter, please get in touch with us by email or on facebook.


Gala Concert - Sligo Hawks Well, 8pm

INTERNATIONAL GALA CONCERT, SLIGO HAWKS WELL, 8pm, Admission in aid of Sligo Bay Lifeboats. International Shanty Groups bring to life the days of the old sailing ships featuring –The Fish and Ships Company - Norway, Eight Bells -Ireland, Losa Boliner - Finland, Femme De Marins - France, The Drunken Sailor - Germany, Monkeys Fist - UK and Ireland's one and only Jimmy Crowley. Tickets now available online at www.hawkswell.com

Sunday June 17th, and don't forget, it's dress like a pirate day!

Sunday brings us close to the sea with our remembrance and blessing of the boats, lifeboat open day, boat racing and of course more Shanties

The Duck, Rowing, Swim and Boat Races start at the Pier but are viewable from the Village Road.

Waiting on the Shore Commemoration, Pier Area, 1230pm

A simple yet moving wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the memory of those seafarers who lost their lives from Rosses Point.

The Annual Blessing of the Boats, Pier Area, 1245pm

The annual blessing of the boats will take place at the pier to pray for a safe season for those who work afloat, pleasure or in the lifeboat service.

Lifeboat Open Day,
1pm to 5pm

Sligo Bay Lifeboat Station has its open day where you can come and meet the crew see the station and hear of the work of the RNLI. They will also be offering free advice on sea safety.

Session Music - throughout the vallage from 2 to 5pm

From 2 until 5pm there will be a selection of local and international shanty singers playing throughout the village. Come and join the fun!
Shanty Fun

Cake Dance - Austies 2pm

This is a traditional Rosses Point festival event which can be traced back to the mid 1800s. It's a free-style dance open competition with a cake as prize.In association with the Cos Cos Dancers.

Family Treasure Hunt - Marquee from 3 to 4pm

Gather round for our annual family treasure hunt. Starting at the festival Marquee from 3pm.

treasure Hunt

The Great Annual RNLI Duck Race, 3 to 6pm

Quack pot fun from the pier to Harry's! Be sure to get your duck early so you can support the RNLI and your duck to a quacking finish!

Duck Race

Rowing Races,
4pm to 5pm

Departing from Rosses Point Pier, they are hotly contested without ever a degree of controversy. If you wish to enter, please get in touch with us by email or on facebook.

Shanty Rowing Race

Maugherow Cup,
4 to 5pm

This is an old Rosses Point Race for open, standard type boats with low horse powered engines. It involves racing a circular course starting at the pier and a number of circuits between the January Perch (near Harrys) to the Metal Man, and finishing at the pier. Generations of knowledge has gone into the fine art of handicapping the various boats involved.
If you wish to enter, please get in touch with us by email or on facebook.

RNLI Fundraising BBQ, Harry's, 4-6pm

Each year Fenton Ewing foregoes his food service to host and run this event to raise funds for the RNLI. Great food at great prices, Adults €10, children €5.BBQ

Festival Finale and Prizegiving, Harry's,

Well its the prize giving and finish of the official festival. Join us with all the International Groups for a final sing along of shanties to finish in traditional fashion with “Leave Her Johnny”.
As in other years the fun will no doubt continue until late in the night.


Timings of water races may be subject to change, please see seperate leaflet. We will have as much music outside as weather permits.

Thanks to our sponsors and friends of the festival which support the work of the RNLI.

Malin Waters

Malin Waters

MalinWaters is funded by the EU INTERREG IVA cross border programme under the Sail West project. The emergence of the MalinWaters consumer facing brand as part of Sail West was a major milestone in the development and promotion of sailing and maritime tourism in the regions. 

MalinWaters covers the shared maritime waters of North West Ireland including counties Donegal & Sligo, the maritime counties of Northern Ireland and Western Scotland. This region boasts fantastic opportunities for sailing, surfing, diving, kayaking as well as other water based activities. Visit www.malinwaters.com for more information.

The overall objectives of the Sail West Project are:

- To provide a cohesive marine leisure development strategy for the North West, which links Donegal to the maritime regions of Northern Ireland and the West coast of Scotland.

- To provide innovation in the development of new marine tourism products and services.

- To share knowledge and best practice between partners.

- To provide sustainable development, job growth and the rejuvenation of maritime communities.

- To ensure that environmental best practice and the possible effects of global climate change is considered within all new developments.

- To encourage eco tourism.

Shanty Workshops

Rosses Point is on the Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way

Rosses Point is a discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way, which is is the longest driving route in the world and leads you through one of the world's most dramatic coastal landscapes. Read below for more information about it.

The Wild Atlantic Way is Irelands new long distance scenic driving route along the entire west coast of Ireland from Donegal in the north to Cork in the south. If you are looking for a holiday itinerary from a few days to several weeks, look no further as the Wild Atlantic Way route has it all. From cliff top views to great hikes and from historic cities to picture perfect coastal villages and some of the best surfing in the world, the Wild Atlantic Way drive caters for tourists of all ages and tastes. Slow down and experience the real Ireland.

You'll drive routes that ring great peninsulas reaching out into the ocean. Tiny roads hug the shoreline then switchback high above the Atlantic swell. Tucked away in little villages and towns that snuggle into the coastline are delightful cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in your passion for good food and great wine.

This breath – taking coastal route will intrigue and remain in your heart and mind long after you have returned home to the everyday world.

Find the WAW on Facebook

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