Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival

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Schedule – 2016

~ Full 2016 Schedule Grid is available here in .pdf format ~

Friday, September 23, 2016:

Saturday, September 24, 2016:

  • 10:00 - 11:30 AM – Roving Sailors gather in front of RiRa in the Market Square and sing their way through the streets of Portsmouth.
    IN CASE OF RAIN: if steady rain, roving will be cancelled
  • 10:00 - 2:00 PM – Festival performers in half-hour spots – indoors at Anchor Line (lower level at 40 Pleasant St.)
    NOTE: Inaccessible to mobility-impaired; narrow, winding steps down to basement level, standard outward-opening door
  • 12:00 - 2:00 PM – Mudhook, The Press Gang – indoors at Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden restored barn (154 Market St.)
  • 12:00 - 2:00 PM – Great Bay Sailor, Ben & Joe – outdoors at the John Paul Jones House lawn (43 Middle St.)
    RAIN LOCATION: inside Discover Portsmouth Center (1 Islington Street), second floor; elevator available
  • 2:30 - 4:30 PM – Maritime Open Sings – running simultaneously, indoors at The Press Room (77 Daniel St.) and indoors at RiRa (22-26 Market Sq.)
  • 7:00 - 9:00 PM – Evening Program with featured Festival artists, Sanborn Hall at United Methodist Church (129 Miller Ave.)

~Thanks to Piscataqua Savings Bank for their third year of Market Square Stage sponsorship!~

Sunday, September 25, 2016 – Ongoing in the Market Square, 1:00 - 5:00 PM:

  • Street performances outdoors in front of RiRa (22-26 Market Sq.) RAIN LOCATION: inside RiRa
  • Cameo Concerts indoors at The Clip Joint (30 Daniel St.)
  • Cameo Concerts indoors at Oppenheimer & Co. (30 Penhallow St.)
  • Performances indoors at Anchor Line (lower level at 40 Pleasant St.)
  • Sing-Along indoors at Book & Bar (40 Pleasant St.)
  • 5:15 PM – Shanty Blast Finale outdoors in Market Square
~ All Events are FREE! Donations gladly accepted! ~

Traditional Music Session at the Press Room

For over 30 years, the Press Room, at 77 Daniel St, has been the home of a traditional music and song open session on Friday nights. From 4-9 PM, local singers and musicians gather in this popular pub/restaurant to join in with Irish, English, Scottish and American folk music. Listeners and participants welcome; bring your instrument and your voice, and prepare to sing a lot of choruses! As early-arriving Festival performers will be in attendance, expect the session tonight to have a strong emphasis on sea music.
access iconAccessibility moderate: granite step up to first floor, outward-opening wide door, standard restrooms.

Roving Sailors

Opening the festival Saturday morning, a crew of maritime singers, shantymen, and bold Festival privateers will start at 10:00 AM in front of RiRa in the Market Square, and proceed through the town, singing as they go. Their mission is to surprise, delight, and inform the public with sea songs galore, distributing knowledge and festival flyers as they wander. Catch them on your block!
access iconAccessibility good: this is outdoors on the brick sidewalks, sidewalk cuts from street; no restrooms. Bear in mind, this is a moving event, not established in one location.

Maritime Open Sings

In 2003, Linn Schulz and her late husband, Tom Hall, began hosting a monthly (3rd Saturdays) shanty and forebitter session at the Press Room, 77 Daniel St. This month, the date will be Saturday, Sept. 17th, 3:30-7:30 PM. On the Saturday of Maritime Festival weekend, there are two additional shanty sessions, running simultaneously from 2:30-4:30 PM. The Press Room is the site of the original session, and RiRa Irish pub & restaurant at 22-26 Market Square is the site of the second session. These are strongly vocal sessions, with sea shanties and easy choruses heavily featured. Also heard are many of the seamen’s off-duty, non-work songs, known as forebitters. Try both sessions, and feel free to move back and forth between them as you like.
access iconAccessibility (Press Room) moderate: granite step up to first floor, outward-opening wide door, standard restrooms. Accessibility (RiRa) moderate: ramp up to first floor, outward-opening double doors, accessible restrooms; five steps up to mezzanine level.

Saturday Evening Concert

For the eighth year in a row, through the generosity of Celtic Crossing gift shop, we are pleased to present a full-length evening concert at Sanborn Hall, part of the United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, 129 Miller Ave. The acts in 2016 are Ken Sweeney, The Press Gang, and Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons. The church is just south of the Middle Street/Miller Ave/Summer Street intersection, on the east side of Miller. Doors open at 6:15PM; parking is available in the church lot.
access iconFull Accessibility: Ramp, stair lift, accessible restrooms.

Cameo Concerts at Oppenheimer & Co. and The Clip Joint

Well established as a PMFF venue, Oppenheimer is located in back of the Market Square Shanty Blast location, on Penhallow Street. This comfortable, cozy space is ideal for enjoying festival performers in half-hour mini-concerts.
access iconAccessibility: Full, with pre-arrangement. Otherwise difficult: six granite steps up to standard outward-opening door, accessible restrooms on a lower level.

The Clip Joint is the newest addition to the PMFF family of supporters. On Daniel Street between The Press Room and the Market Square, this location is a barber shop, usually closed on Sundays, but open this year as an intriguing venue for intimate cameo concerts.
access iconAccessibility moderate: slight ramp up to two sets of outward-opening double doors, standard restrooms.

Sing-Along at Book & Bar

Nick Noble will be holding down the fort and em-ceeing at the Sunday Maritime Sing-Along. Not an open session, this venue features various festival performers, coming and going throughout the afternoon, and participants called on by Nick. We are thrilled that for the third year, Book & Bar pub, bookshop and restaurant is our sponsor. Drop in for a pint and a few choruses! Book & Bar is at 40 Pleasant Street, near the corner of State and Pleasant Streets, in the Old Custom House.
access iconAccessibility difficult: five granite steps up from street level to standard outward-opening door; ramp in rear of building leads to four sets of doors in winding, narrow hallway, and requires assistance from within. Accessible restrooms in hallway.

Shanty Blast Finale

A giant, roaring final sing ends the weekend with a blast. All performers gather on the sidewalk in Market Square in front of RiRa as each takes a turn leading a shanty. The whole crew, and audience, too, belts out chorus after chorus – a rousing sight and sound, indeed! We are grateful once more to Piscataqua Savings Bank for their 2016 sponsorship of the Market Square Stage, allowing us to keep sea songs ringing out in the Square!
access iconAccessibility good: this is outdoors on the brick sidewalk, sidewalk cuts from street; no restrooms.


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last updated 16 September 2016
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