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THE BEST FESTIVALS IN CORNWALL 2018

Posted on Jun 1, 2018 by

Cornwall is home to festivals of all sizes, from small community events to multi-stage extravaganzas featuring some of the world’s biggest names.

We’ve put together some of our favourites below. It seems more great festivals get announced daily, so if you think we’ve missed any, do let us know!

 

1 – 3 JUNE: THE GREAT ESTATE

Only in its second year, but already a firm favourite amongst Cornish festival-goers, The Great Estate calls itself ‘the most rambunctious Garden Fête’ – and we think that’s pretty accurate.

Music, comedy, theatre and art come together in the grounds of the Scorrier Estate for three days of unforgettable entertainment.

Who’s playing?

The Stage on the Green, the festival’s main music stage, will be headlined by indie royalty The Charlatans, The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, and The Symphonica Orchestra featuring Mr Switch. Local acts have their place too, with The Rezner taking to the main stage, and many others performing on the BBC Introducing stage.

If dancing is your thing, head for The Hokey Cokey Parlour on the Friday. Local DJ heroes Hong Kong Ping Pong will be sure to get you jumping.

Who will enjoy it?

This is a truly diverse festival, so we’re confident everyone can find something to enjoy. Children and families are well catered for, with a whole Playground field dedicated to the younger ones.

Tickets

The whole weekend with camping is £100pp. Day tickets are available too.

 

6 JUNE – 7 JULY: THE EDEN SESSIONS

More a series of concerts than a festival, but well worth a mention thanks to the incredible 2018 lineup.

The now well-established Eden Sessions take place in a venue like no other – alongside the biomes of the Eden Project.

Who’s playing?

The range and quality of acts performing this year is a real triumph.

90s pop sensation and firm mum-favourite Gary Barlow kicks things off on 6 June. Then, ground-breaking trip-hop collective Massive Attack will headline on 16 June, with a fantastic support act in form of Young Fathers.

On 30 June, Brit Award winner Ben Howard will play the Eden Sessions, with Gwenno in support (whose recent Cornish language album has won over fans in the county). Things get a little heavier on 3 July, with arguably one of of the biggest rock acts in the world – Queens Of The Stone Age – playing one of only two 2018 UK dates.

If relaxing, acoustic music is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know Jack Johnson is returning to Eden on 5 July, having first played in 2010. And how do you complete a series of gigs of this quality? With Icelandic superstar Björk, of course – playing on 7 July.

2018 also features an Eden first – a one-day version of the award-winning grass roots festival Beautiful Days. Taking place on 23 June, the day of music will include The Levellers, New Model Army, Reef, Dreadzone and Ginger Wildheart.

Who will enjoy it?

Anyone that wants a little taste of the festival action, but with a shower and your own bed waiting for you at the end of the day.

Tickets

Prices start at £40pp, and also include entry to the biomes on the Saturday and Sunday.

 

16-24 JUNE: POLPERRO FESTIVAL

Polperro Festival is based on a tradition dating back centuries which celebrates the coming of summer and was born from a mixture of known old traditions, and the community’s wish to attract more people to this beautiful south coast village.

The free-to-attend festival will feature live music, an arts and crafts fair, a comedy night, the lighting of the solstice bonfire, the colourful village carnival and a unique mock mayor choosing ceremony with the winner being wheeled through the town, stopping at each inn before finally being dunked in the sea.

Who’s playing?

Bands include Mr T and the Minions, Echo Town, Tom o Reilly and The Swaggers, and Chic Boutique. 

Who will enjoy it? 

Anyone that enjoys free entertainment, in a lovely and typically Cornish setting.

Tickets

Free to attend.

 

13 JUNE – 29 AUGUST: LUSTY GLAZE SUNDOWNER SESSIONS

Live music, on a sheltered beach, as the sun goes down. What’s not to like?

Who’s playing?

Previous performers have included the John Butler Trio, Feeder, The Feeling, The Levellers, and The Kooks. The first act announced for this year is Morcheeba, playing on 22 July.

More acts are likely to be announced shortly, so keep an eye on the Lusty Glaze website.

Who will enjoy it? 

These are relatively small and intimate shows, so it’s going to be a lot of fun if you’re a fan of the band performing. It’s also a must if you’re a sucker for a good sunset.

Tickets

Available from £28.50.

 

29 JUNE – 1 JULY: ALE AND ANCHOR

You may not see many world-renowned artists on the bill, but this celebration of summer at The Old Coastguard pub in Mousehole regularly receives rave reviews – and it’s totally free to attend.

Who’s playing? 

The weekend performances open on Friday evening with the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, followed by a showcase of Cornish bands and musicians throughout the weekend, including the Extraordinarily Ordinary Gents, Biere De Luxe, Liam Jordan, Louella Jade Eke and The Oggy Men.

You’ll also find traditional garden games, face painting, story telling, flower crown making and mask making each day. Plus on Sunday afternoon there’ll be a performance from Cornish comic Kernow King.

Who will enjoy it?

Beer fans, Cornish music fans, and families alike will all be very happy here.

Tickets

Entry is free.

 

6 – 7 JULY: ROCK OYSTER FESTIVAL

Rock Oyster takes place at Roskear Farm, near Wadebridge, located right on the famous Camel trail – meaning revellers can easily turn up on foot or bike.

It is a happy mix of food, music, and children’s activities, in a beautiful location.

Who’s playing?

Following European tours with Madness and UB40, festival headliners Caravana Sun have built up quite a fan base. They will be joined on the bill by Bristolians Dr Meaker (all nine of them), The Ashton Jones Project, and many more.

Foodies won’t be short of options – Thyme and Tide, Wild Food Kitchen, and Cargo Coffee are amongst the pop-up options.

Who will enjoy it? 

Families, cyclists, and fans of rock oysters.

Tickets

Weekend tickets are £40, or day tickets are available from £22.

 

8 JULY: LIVE IN THE WYLDES

Taking place at the Leopallooza festival site, Live in the Wyldes is a series of one off gigs in North Cornwall.

Who’s playing?

The first artist confirmed is Paloma Faith, playing on 8th July. Support acts will be announced shortly, as will more Live in the Wyldes headliners.

Who will enjoy it? 

The Live in the Wyldes shows are essentially festivals packed into one day. Camping is available if you want it, but many will choose to head home to the comfort of their own bed.

Tickets

Tickets are priced at £36 for adults, or £10 for children.

 

15 JULY: PENGRILLIE BARBECUE FESTIVAL

A one day spectacle of flames, food, and live music, set within the grounds of Pentillie Castle near Saltash.

Who’s playing?

There will be live music from local bands Slim Semora and Black Friday, but this festival is really all about the delicious food.

The street food festival will feature the likes of Kernowforno and Pig and Pallet, but it’s the BBQ competition where things get really serious. 12 amateur and professional teams will compete across four classes. And there will be plenty of professional smoking and grilling demonstrations for those that want to take some skills home with them.

Who will enjoy it? 

If you love food, you’ll love PenGrillie. And if you love chilli wing eating competitions, you’ll be covered there too.

Tickets

Advance tickets are £7 for adults, or £3 for children.

 

13 – 15 JULY: TROPICAL PRESSURE FESTIVAL

The intimate Tropical Pressure celebrates the cultures of Africa, Latin America, and The Caribbean, at Mount Pleasant Eco Park, near Porthtowan.

Who’s playing? 

A wealth of international musicians will descend on Cornwall, including Totó La Momposina, Afriquoi, Johnny Clarke & The Soothsayers, Muntchako, and Lakuta.

The festival also features free workshops covering topics such as dance, craft, food, storytelling, and circus skills.

Who will enjoy it? 

Fans of Glastonbury’s West Holts stage, or anyone that appreciates music from beyond our shores.

Tickets

Three day weekend passes are £120 for adults, or £45 for children. Day tickets are available from £45.

 

20 – 21 JULY: FUNKY SOUL FRIDAY AND THE BAREFOOT BALL

For two evenings in July, Trerethern Farm near Padstow (home to Padstow Kitchen Garden) will be home to two nights of feasting, dancing, and celebrating.

Who’s playing?

Both Funky Soul Friday and the brilliantly-named Barefoot Ball will feature collaborations between Woodfired Canteen and Padstow Kitchen Garden, who will be serving feasts in a traditional canvas pole tent.

Aldo Vancucci, an Ibiza DJ with one of the largest collections of vinyl, will be spinning a distinctively 70s soundtrack during Friday’s event, while live ‘retro sessions’ take place earlier on in the evening.

On the Saturday, dynamic DJ Duo Laird Grooves will be setting the mood with eclectic sets weaving ghetto funk, roots funk & disco, and Old school R&B.

Who will enjoy it?

Anyone with a passion for the freshest food, al fresco dining, wood-fired cooking, and dancing in spots with incredible views.

Tickets

Funky Soul Friday: £45, which includes an arrival drink, two course feast, and the after party.

The Barefoot Ball: £55, which includes an arrival drink, three course feast, and the after party.

 

26 – 29 JULY: PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL

Described as a literary festival, but with the feel of a garden party. Port Eliot is a haven for book worms, foodies, and art lovers, held in the spectacular grounds of the ancient Port Eliot estate in southeast Cornwall.

Who’s playing?

Music-wise, you can expect to see Baxter Dury, Gaz Coombes, Gwenno, Chris Difford, William The Conqueror, and heaps more. There is also a big focus on the spoken word, with the likes of Robert Webb, Billy Bragg, Brett Anderson, Viv Albertine, and Holly McNish all set to speak throughout the festival.

Fashion, art, outdoor adventure, wellbeing, and cookery demos will also feature.

Who will enjoy it?

The Port Eliot lineup is brilliantly diverse, so we’re sure everyone will find something to keep them entertained, particularly those with an interest in the wider art and literature worlds.

Tickets

Weekend tickets are £170 for adults. Day tickets are available for £62.50.

 

27 – 29 JULY: LEOPALLOOZA

The greatest house party…in a field. And so much more.

Leopallooza is a multi award-winning music festival that celebrates the very best in new, up-and-coming and established bands, artists and DJs, all in a wooded valley in North Cornwall.

Who’s playing? 

A stellar lineup of music and comedy for 2018. Headliners Kelis, Public Service Broadcasting and St Paul & The Broken Bones will be joined by bands on the edge of greatness including Rat Boy, Idles, and The Go! Team.

Comedy will be a big part of the festival for the first time in 2018, with Josh Widdicombe, Russell Kane and Mark Dolan confirmed, and more to be announced shortly.

Who will enjoy it?

Anyone that likes to keep their finger on the pulse of new music. The team behind Leopallooza have a strong track record of booking bands and artists just before they break into the mainstream, so it’s a good opportunity to see them first.

Tickets

Weekend passes are currently £115, but are likely to go up in price as we get closer to the festival. Day tickets are available for the Sunday only, priced at £49.50.

 

31 JULY – 10 AUGUST: ST ENDELLION SUMMER FESTIVAL

Celebrating its 60th year in 2018, the St Endellion Summer Festival brings together a wide range of musicians from all over the world to perform opera, choral, orchestral, chamber and recital concerts in the Collegiate Church of St Endellion, North Cornwall and surrounds.

Who’s playing? 

The festival features performances from internationally-acclaimed musicians – the full lineup can be seen here.

Who will enjoy it? 

Very much one for classical aficionados, but also accessible to those that are new to the genre.

Tickets

Each concert is ticketed separately. Details can be found here.

 

8 – 12 AUGUST: BOARDMASTERS

The biggest music festival in Cornwall, and one of the biggest in the UK – Boardmasters has grown into a beast of an event.

At its heart, this is a surf, skate, and music festival, which takes place across two locations – Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay. The music is split across a massive eight stages.

Who’s playing? 

The three headliners for 2018 are Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Chemical Brothers, and George Ezra. Other highlights include Kano, playing his only UK festival, Lilly Allen, Rag’N’Bone Man, and Friendly Fires.

Who will enjoy it?

It’s now so big, there really is something for everyone. But if you’re a Radio One fan, you’ll be particularly happy at Boardmasters.

 

23 – 27 AUGUST: CORNWALL FOLK FESTIVAL

The relatively sleepy town of Wadebridge comes alive during the Cornwall Folk Festival, with every pub, venue, and street corner becoming a stage.

Who’s playing?

Gretchen Peters and Eddi Reader will headline in 2018, alongside Roberts & Lakeman, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, and Flats & Sharps.

Who will enjoy it? 

The festival is, of course, a big hit with traditional and contemporary folk fans, but anyone who enjoys live music will love being in Wadebridge during the five day celebration.

Tickets

Access to the majority of performances is available with a full festival ticket, priced at £69. But there will be lots of free entertainment throughout the town too.

 

14 – 16 SEPTEMBER: LITTLE ORCHARD CIDER & MUSIC FESTIVAL

A Cornish party at Healey’s Cyder Farm, near Truro. There will be lots of live music throughout the weekend, and, of course, lots of cider. Look out for the silent disco and secret walks too.

Who’s playing?

The lineup is a mix of indie, pop, and bands that seem perfectly suited to a cider festival (see Hayseed Dixie and The Wurzels). The Fratellis headline, with Ten Fe, Rews, Thomas Ford and the Devil’s Hat Band also making an appearance.

Who will enjoy it? 

Cider lovers! It’s also surprisingly family friendly.

Tickets

Weekend tickets start at £55.

 

21 – 23 SEPTEMBER: LOOE MUSIC FESTIVAL

A real community festival, taking place across the town. The lineup in previous years has been great, and 2018 is shaping up to follow suit.

Who’s playing?

The Stranglers, The Waterboys, Gwennno, Bez, The London African Gospel Choir and PP Arnold are amongst the eclectic lineup.

Who will enjoy it?

Music lovers who want a festival experience without the need for wellies. In fact, the main stage is on the beach – so flip flops might be necessary.

Tickets

Weekend tickets are available from £99.

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