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Deal Folk by the Sea festival returns with shanties and singalongs

Buskers, singers, dancers and musicians will return to the streets and pubs of Deal this weekend as part of the Folk by the Sea festival.

Called Songs to the Sea, it will start tomorrow (Friday) and sees the festival return after the organisers spent last year focusing on smaller events.

First in the line-up is a singaround at the RMA Club on the Strand from 8pm, with most of the action on Saturday.

Deal Folk Festival in the High Street
Deal Folk Festival in the High Street

At 10am there will be a High Street busk, while a shanty group will be on the seafront from 11am. These ensembles will join forces at 1pm at the Landmark Centre for Barden at the Garden – a memorial for John Barden, who was a great supporter of the local folk music scene.

Doors open at 1.30pm for a concert at the Astor Community Theatre which will feature shanties and sea songs from some of the best shanty groups and singers in the South East.

It stars The Shanty Crew, Sue Watson and Lizzie Stephens, Swinging the Lead and many others. Tickets are available from the Astor Community Theatre box office on 01304 370220 and cost £5. All proceeds will go to Walmer RNLI.

A musician in Deal High Street
A musician in Deal High Street

There will also be opportunities to have a sing or just listen at the RMA Club on the Strand from 4.30pm to 6.30pm and at the Just Reproach in King Street from 7pm.

Another singalong at 8pm in the Saracens Head in Alfred Square will feature Kellets Gut Shanty Crew and singer, songwriter and sailor Helen North.

The festival will continue into Sunday with a bacon butty breakfast at the Sea Cafe, followed by the annual Deal Hoodeners and friends at the lifeboat station.

The event will conclude with the final bawl, which will take place at 1pm in The Green Berry on Canada Road.

For information follow @DealFolk on Twitter, or to take part in the festival, call Freddie
Middleton on 01304 361347 or 372673.

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