Though it may have taken a criminally long time to show up, and there’s little clue in the current weather, Summer is in fact just around the corner. Deadlines are looming and it’s all getting a bit serious in the run up to the end of the academic year, but, just after those dreaded deadlines is the prospect of four months of day drinking and forgetting about any responsibilities, as you bask in the idyllic Cornish sun (or drizzle as it’s more likely to be).
Whatever your vibe is, Cornwall has something to offer in the way of festivals. So, if you’re staying in Cornwall over the warmer months, Truthfal has got your (by no means exhaustive) guide to some of the best festivals taking place in the county this summer.
Best for bringing mum and dad (and making them pay): Port Eliot Festival (26th-29th July)
For a more cultured festival experience, look no further than Port Eliot in the north of Cornwall. Suitable for the whole family, Port Eliot is less about big name headliners and four day binges, and more about getting an injection of art, music, and literature into your summer schedule.
The stages nestled around the historic Eliot family house play host to world class chefs, top names in UK comedy, and fashion industry insiders; last year saw talks from Zandra Jones and an Ashish fashion show. This year the music line-up features performances from indie-scene up-and-comers like Boy Azooga and Confidence Man alongside more established alternative artists such as Teleman and Baxter Dury.
A slower paced festival than others on this list, Port Eliot is about really getting stuck into the wholesome, enriching and enlightening offerings across the weekend; there’s a whole host of workshops to take part in, from ‘Travel Writing for Adventurers’ to ‘Wild Cocktail Making’. Port Eliot festival is sure to top up your cultural quota; very mum and dad appropriate.
Best for big crowds, bigger names and unbeatable views: Boardmasters (8th-12th August)
The home-grown Cornish festival, found on the clifftops overlooking Watergate Bay in Newquay, has expanded year on year, attracting world class headliners to the county each August.
This year sees Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Chemical Brothers and George Ezra take top billing across the three days.
With an eclectic line up sure to satisfy a range of tastes, this year’s line-up offers everything from indie to dance to more old school acts. The sprawling clifftop location provides unbeatable views across the Atlantic Ocean to accompany the musical delights of acts like Miles Kane, Grandmaster Flash, the Amazons, Steflon Don, Craig David and Annie Mac.
For those wanting a change of pace from the cliffs of Watergate Bay, Fistral Beach (just a short shuttle bus ride away) hosts surf, skate and BMX competitions across the weekend including the World Surf League qualifying series and Boardmasters Invitational at the Canna mini ramp.
And if you’re after even more for your money (tier three tickets are currently at £169), head to the After Parties which run until 4.30 am from Thursday to Sunday across three venues in the centre of Newquay.
Best for intimate stages hosting big names: Leopallooza (27th-29th July)
After taking 2017 off, this year’s Leopallooza sees Kelis take the headline slot on ‘The Clearing’ stage, with the likes of Rat Boy, Tom Grennan and Hers joining the line-up (and more names yet to be announced).
Alongside the live music, Josh Widdicombe and Russel Kane bring the comedy across the weekend at ‘The Funny Side’. And at ‘The Shi Shi Za’ and ‘The Quiet Riot’ festival goers are offered entertainment in the form of a karaoke bar and silent disco.
Billed as ‘the greatest house party in a field’ expect cosy stages, a laid-back atmosphere and the Leo’ tradition of burning a car as the sun sets over the north-Cornwall fields. Leopallooza is a small festival run by a dedicated group of mates who have repeatedly turned down corporate sponsorship in favour of keeping ticket prices low; just £105 for the weekend.
The DIY, house party spirit of Leopallooza is felt in every aspect of the three-day festival; as Lee Ellis, who first thought up Leo’ says: “we put this thing on because we love music, we love a party and we love making new friends.”