Great Cornish music festivals

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Cornwall may not have the most famous music festivals in Britain, such as Glastonbury, Bestival or Download, but these festivals all fall short of one thing - they're not in Cornwall! They may have the big names, but some of our music festivals are starting to get some pretty big headliners, and combined with our gorgeous Cornish surroundings and the draw of surf, some would argue that Cornwall is the best place to party. Here are our top music festivals in Cornwall.

Boardmasters

Cornwall’s premier surf and music festival, Boardmasters often appears in most festival-goers bucket list. It is held in Newquay, the surf capital of Cornwall.

The festival attracts people from all over the UK and Europe, coming to enjoy five days of surf competition, skate, BMX and beach activities on Fistral Beach, with an epic weekend of live music on the headland at Watergate Bay. This this Cornwall's largest festival, attracting around 50,000 people.

Newquay is the epicentre of the British surf industry. On a good day, Fistral can produce big, hollow waves and holds a good-sized swell, so it’s been Britain’s most popular venue for national and international surfing competitions alike for more than 30 years.

What's on Cornwall: Boardmasters, Festival in Newquay Photo: Boardmasters

Port Eliot Festival

One of Cornwall’s largest gatherings of its kind, and probably the most eclectic music and arts festivals in the UK. It’s set in the same location as the now legendary Elephant Fayre, which took place way back in the 1970s and 80s, and came to Port Eliot in 1980. The current festival came into being as the Eliot Lit Fest, early in the millennium, and in the subsequent years of its existence, it has grown to offer an unsurpassed diversity of artistic work and entertainment, encompassing but not limited to music, literature, poetry, comedy, film and other visual art.

The Port Eliot Festival is the original concept of a free-ranging festival of ideas brought to fruition. It draws an astonishing collection of, to quote, “artists, musicians, writers, comedians, performers, thinkers, makers, protagonists, agitators and scribblers” to this, one of the most beautiful corners of the Duchy.

Port Eliot Festival meanders from music and words through fashion and food and wanders along to wellbeing, art, film and comedy. Taking visitors on this intellectual and spiritual journey and many places in between and beyond.

It’s probably Cornwall’s most unusual festival. The uninitiated are often baffled by the creative craziness, yoga and fashion that the Port Eliot Festival embodies. Port Eliot is a sometime medieval monastery which became a stately home under the St Germans viaduct. As the organisers like to say, festivals are not just about location, but Port Eliot’s hidden corner of Cornwall is a location like no other, on the stunning Rame Peninsula.

What's on: Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall Photo: Port Eliot Festival

Leopallooza

This renowned music festival takes place in a secluded wooded valley near Bude. The festival is quite small, but provides an opportunity to see big name acts as well as emerging talent. Leopallooza has hosted hundreds of bands, DJ’s and other artists, but remains a close-knit affair, created by a small team. The first event was a party for two hundred or so people – now it’s much bigger, but Leopallooza has clung to the original ethos.

Leopallooza festival. What's on, summer in North Cornwall Photo: Leopallooza

If you’d like to come and party Cornwall-style, we have many lovely Cornish cottages available to rent throughout the year.