A FESTIVAL which aims to restore the tradition of sea shanties in Dorset is coming to Poole this spring.

Coastliners festival will take place in Old Poole Town on April 21 and is billed as a family friendly festival bringing traditional sea shanties and sea folk back to the people of Dorset.

The festival programme will include a variety of performances by shanty bands and folk acts from across the region, as well as craft workshops, film screenings, cultural heritage talks and an exhibition.

The festival will offer a variety of both free and ticketed events throughout the day.

Organiser Alex Praag said: "The story of the sea shanty goes all the way back to 16th century where sailors and seafarers used song to accompany the tough and rigorous labour they faced on-board ships and in ports.

"These harmonious work songs became increasingly popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but this tradition soon faded with the decline of traditional port towns."

He added: "This beautiful music tradition has begun to be revived in Cornwall, and we want the same to be happening in Dorset."

Some of the festival venues are still being confirmed, but organisers say visitors can expect great entertainment throughout the day between Poole Quay and Scaplen's Court.

A full festival programme will be published in March, with performance and activity times and ticket prices.

It has been organised by creative events management students at the Arts University Bournemouth.

A major sea shanty festival takes place in Falmouth, Cornwall each year, and attracts thousands of people.

Last year more than 50,000 flocked to the town for the festival, which was supported by local sponsors and advertisers and organised by volunteers.

In 2017, Poole Maritime Festival drew large crowds to the area, thanks to an array of different events along with impressive tall ships and luxurious yachts on display.

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