There’s more to the festival season than Reading, Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight. While the “Big Three” are the UK’s most celebrated, Cornwall’s Boardmasters has an intimate setting and atmosphere that none of them can compete with. If you’re a wannabe Lord of Dogtown, there’s no better festival!
Boardmasters is a Bohemian’s paradise, boasting a main stage that overlooks the stunning coastline, world class surfing and skateboarding competitions, a wide variety of musical acts, and enough authentic Cornish cider to drown an apple orchard.
If you’re looking for a lineup of chart toppers, look elsewhere. You won’t find Kanye West or the Red Hot Chili Peppers gracing the stage. Boardmasters is the ultimate discovery ground; a place to witness musical history in the making. Many of the previous headliners have since gone on to become megastars, such as Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard. While the 2016 lineup is yet to be announced, there is at least one guarantee… local surf rockers, Reef. The Main Stage often features a mixture of hard rock, hip-hop and electronica artists that are currently on the rise, while the Unleashed Stage is reserved for lesser known acts working the toilet circuit. The other stages are primarily filled with local bands and DJs.
But, there’s not just music on the menu, the Keg and Pasty Stage features an all-day lineup of stand up comedians. If you’re an untapped comedy genius waiting for a big break, perhaps the morning open mic session could be your calling? With all the Dutch courage running through your veins, it’s the perfect place to break that nerve barrier.
Music is just one small part of Boardmasters. To truly absorb the whole experience, a day trip to Fistral Beach is an absolute must. Here you can watch world class skateboarders and surfers compete in one of the UK’s most prestigious competitions. Expect to see some of the biggest names in board sports. Previous contenders include a host of pros from the golden age of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Of all the UK festivals, Boardmasters definitely has the most picturesque setting – yellow sandy beaches overlooking vast blue waters. There are two primary locations: Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach. Watergate bay (TR8 4AN) contains the concert arena and campsites, while Fistral Beach (TR7 3SW) hosts the surfing, skateboarding and Beach Sessions. Shuttle buses costing £3 per trip run between both sites during the festival weekend, as well as from Newquay Town Centre.
The 2016 Boardmasters Festival will take place from Wednesday 10th until Sunday 14th August. Adult tickets are £119 and include camping. Optional extras, such as car parking, fast-track entry and VIP camping are available for an additional fee. If you don’t have the cash to book your place, don’t panic, you can reserve your spot via the official website with a £30 deposit – providing you pay the full balance by 30th June.
Boardmasters is a true 24 hour party. When the music dies down and the cleanup crews move in, various venues across Newquay come alive and continue the rave into the early hours. On your way back to the campsite you will also find various makeshift stalls and bars, allowing you to stock up with food and drink and savour every moment.