A wonderful and surprisingly lovely weekend is how locals and visitors alike have summed up the 2011 Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival weekend. Sea Ilfracombe has seen significant growth since its first year with well over 50 events over the weekend, and the organisers are already working on the 2012 festival which will run from Friday 31st August to Tuesday 4th September, such is the planning needed to host what is becoming a hugely successful festival and well over 100 events/performances have already been booked! It starts on Friday with, one of the main success stories from last year, a Party aboard the MV Oldenburg. An eclectic mix of stories, tales, poetry and songs from the days of steam and sail. Hughie Jones, ex of Spinners fame, will be appearing at the Landmark Theatre on Saturday with full supporting acts.
One of our key display items, from the cultural Olympiad, which will be your last chance to see it in Devon, is Nowhereisland. A celebrated artwork from Devon based artist Alex Hartley.
The Seailfracombe Triathlon, the”mother of all short courses” starts its second year and if you would like to take part you will need to register now. This event will help raise funds for Help the Heroes and the Royal Marine Charity. It is ably organised by North Devon Triathlon club and will also be supported by The Hosties!
So why not come along and enjoy the fun! Check out our website and the links of those taking part.
What is it?
Sea Ilfracombe was first conceived from an idea by Tom & Barbara Brown, of Umber Music fame, whilst they were making the long journey back from appearing at the Scarborough Festival.
They were wondering what a festival would look like here, with the impressive backdrop of Ilfracombe harbour and seafront. Not to mention its history dating back to the Doomsday Book and before to the Iron Age folk who used to live here.
With this idea in mind they were able to form a working party, and Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival can now boast of its 4th year and looking forward to the events already in hand for our 2012 Olympic year.
What we do?
Sea Ilfracombe is a non profit making organisation and the services of its Board of Directors and working party are given free of charge, as is all the time and hard work provided by its small army of volunteers.
A large number of the events are either free or by donation to help get everyone involved, ranging from the younger scallywags to the older ones.
We aim to provide a wide mixture of fun and frolics, aimed at all age groups, combined with an artistic flavour supported by our professional musicians with art works and participation events.
Try rowing a gig, porpoise and seal watching or educational events organised by the Museum with its family fun day, the Library through its craft making, a nature watch with the National Trust or Rock Pool Rambles with Coastwise and Ilfracombe aquarium.
The timing of Sea Ilfracombe fits nicely at the beginning of September to provide a nice and relaxing end to the hectic summer season and to welcome visitors who want to enjoy a late break. Ilfracombe is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty with its own natural resources where sustainability is key, and this helps underpin the ethos of Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival.
What to look forward to!
Family fun for kids of all ages, from interactiveat the museum to harbour fun with rock pool rambles or visit the historic Tunnels beach.
Try out one of our historical guided Food Trails or come on our legendary Restaurant amble, or get physical at our Triathlon or learn to row a racing gig, or just sit back and relax at our Party on the MS Oldenburg or at any of our musical gatherings.
Why not check out our latest diary of events. We are sure there is something for everyone, and most of it free!
Don’t forget the dates Friday 31st August to Tuesday 4th Sept 2012
The organisers and those local businesses who hosted the events are delighted at the overall response and involvement of both visitors and locals alike especially with many of the paid events being oversubscribed. Sea Ilfracombe is a non profit making organisation and any monies made are ploughed straight back into providing another event. They would not be able to do this without the tremendous support of local businesses who work hard to just cover their costs. They are considering extending it to 4 days next year and are looking to provide further musical entertainment along with new events to help keep the festival fresh. We will continue to keep some of their old favourites such as the restaurant trails and historic guided tours, along with the newer events offered this year like the Sea Ilfracombe Triathlon, and of course the amazingly successful party onboard the MV Oldenburg which has already been booked for Friday 31st August at 7.30pm, along with a concert by Fishermans Friends on the Saturday.
Both Ilfracombe Museum and the Sea Ilfracombe Triathlon saw over 200 take part in their activities with over 100 people enjoying the farewell concert in the Lifeboat House. With such a mix of mainly free activities, there was something to suit old and young scallywags alike..The performers meanwhile were also having a good time with Pam & Al saying that the Oldenburg party was the best gig they had ever performed at, and Monkeys Fist not regretting their 7 hour journey to come and perform and appreciative of the tremendous warmth of the welcome they received in Ilfracombe and have already booked their spot for 2012. One of the revellers, Amy Collins, described the evening as magical and likening it to being on her very own sea voyage, such was the atmosphere onboard. Sea Ilfracombe already hold an art exhibition and the organisers are extending this area to provide a more varied mix of exhibitors and are happy to hear from any artist who would like to take part. One confirmed major art concept, Nowhere Island, devised by artist Alex Hartley especially for Olympics year, will be arriving in Ilfracombe for the Maritime Festival weekend.