Besides the legendary surfing and food events, one of the other truly live and kicking aspects of Newquay is its vibrant music scene. From local rock and acoustic gigs to curtain-raising music festivals, the town and surrounding area hosts an impressive array of established and exciting new talent each year. So where are the best live music venues in Newquay? And which festival acts will you not want to miss this year? Here is a quick guide to get you tuned into summer 2016:
Electric Beach 2016 (8th & 9th July)
Hitting Fistral Beach for its fifth year, this exciting event is rapidly becoming one of the liveliest music festivals in Cornwall. This summer promises to be a vintage year too, with a double header of huge acts topping the Electric Beach lineup for 2016 (The Levellers and De La Soul). And if two evenings of summer sounds wasn’t enough, there are also legendary afterparties where the party atmosphere continues till the early hours. See the official site for more details, ticket prices and confirmed acts for this year’s show: www.electricbeachfestival.co.uk
Boardmasters Festival 2016 (10th-14th August)
Has there ever been a more blockbusting line up at this Daddy of all Cornish festivals? It is an eclectic selection of acts to put it mildly: Primal Scream, Soul II Soul and The Kaiser Chiefs will be music to ears of all ages, while further big hitters include Catfish and the Bottlemen, James Bay and Chase & Status. Nor is it all loud-as-you-like rock though, with a healthy mix of acoustic and roots sounds, the 2016 Boardmasters lineup is probably the best the event has ever assembled, and that’s before we even consider the surfing! Get on your skates soonish for tickets, because this is sure to be the Newquay event of the summer: www.boardmasters.co.uk
Cornwall Folk Festival 2016 (26-29th August) Newquay
Just a few miles along the coast from Newquay, the August Bank Holiday Weekend sees Cornwall’s greatest celebration of folk music. And while the bigger acts require tickets, the beauty of this event is the laid back, super-friendly community feel. This makes it possible to roam the streets and catch all kinds of musicians, workshops, events and acts in cafes, pubs and outdoor spaces. Should you want to catch the biggest names on the bill, however, Ralph McTell, Rory Mcleod and Martin Simpson are all in town over the weekend. Catch the full line up and all ticket details here: www.cornwallfolkfestival.com
Newquay Live Music Venues
Lusty Glaze Beach
Just footsteps from Hotel Bristol, music fans will find one of the best places to hear live music in Cornwall. Providing a brilliant range of tunesmiths in their appropriately named Sundowner Sessions, this summer alone sees the arrival of Newton Faulkner, Guy Garvey and various others, all in an intimate and exciting setting right by the sea. Nor does the action stop with the heat of the warmer months, because regular Woodburner Sessions continue right through the winter months too. Take a look at the current listings for yourself and book tickets at www.lustyglaze.co.uk
Another venue well worth keeping an eye on, Whiskers hosts some brilliant nights and musical artists from far and wide. Predictable pub rock is not on the menu either, as the venue hosts everything from modern folk to blues, funk and metal. Whichever time of year you arrive, this is an ideal place to catch a gig at short notice. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for forthcoming highlights.
On The Rocks Bar
Beating the drum for local and touring acts alike, this independent venue is a good bet to see regular rock gigs in Newquay, along with DJs and other music events. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for regular updates HERE.
Red Lion Inn
An old school pub with fairly regular gigs throughout the summer. Plenty of local and travelling acts play here, with bands playing classic rock and covers as well as original material. Add a friendly atmosphere and a well-kept selection of ales and you have all the makings of an enjoyable gig. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for current listings HERE.
The Watering Hole (Perranporth)
Just a few miles along the coast, this is a vibrant night spot that punches well above its weight in terms of drawing music acts from far and wide for rocking, regular gig nights in North Cornwall. This summer’s highlights include The Feeling, The Darkness and Scouting for Girls. Well worth a detour for some electric nights by the beach and some big names every summer. Look out for the current Watering Hole listings and live acts every month at www.thewateringhole.co.uk