The best Cornish festivals this Summer

Despite passing the summer Solstice a couple of weeks ago, the days feel longer now we’ve had a sustained run of sunshine. We’ve shaken off the memories of a wet and windy June and feel alive again, energised and ready for the real Summer.

At this time of the year the Cornish beaches fill up in the run into the school holidays. Sun-tanned locals and tourists alike, frolicking in turquoise waters.The county’s rugged coastline, quaint villages and wild surf appeal to everyone.

As well as Cornwall’s natural wildness and beauty, there’s a host of festivals particular to Cornwall to enjoy this year and every year. Here’s a handy list of the best:

Leopallooza Festival, The Wyldes, Cornwall 26-28 July

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Described by the organisers as “the greatest house party in a field”, the first Leopallooza was supposed to be a one-off. A party for farmer’s son, Lee Ellis, providing somewhere for his band to play.

The festival has grown since its small beginnings but the ethos and festival team hasn’t changed much. The ticket and bar prices remain low and camping is still free (a rarity these days). And despite the offer of corporate sponsorship the festival has remained fiercely independent.

As well as local musicians and artists, bigger headliners now appear with this year’s festival including Friendly Fires, The Vaccines and Feeder.

The festival site itself is still in a hidden, tree-filled Cornish valley, just a few miles from the sea, and with Lee’s family farm still on the same site. Lee’s family have got used to the event now though, so no one will come and ask for the music to be turned down.

St Endellion Summer Festival, St Endellion, Cornwall 30 July – 9 August

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Musical priest, Roger Gaunt, founded The St Endellion Summer Festival in 1958, when he invited a group of college friends to Cornwall to help him renovate St Endellion’s derelict rectory.

Gaunt brought together a wide range of musicians from across the globe to perform opera, choral, orchestral, chamber and recital concerts in the inspiring and intimate atmosphere of the Collegiate Church of St Endellion, North Cornwall

The festival is set up for the sheer joy of music and each year a community of artists, musicians, stage managers and administrators create the best event possible on the smallest budget.

Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival, Penhallow, Cornwall 13-15 September

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Located on Healey’s Cyder Farm in Penhallow near Truo, the quirky Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival offers family entertainment and lots more.  

Described by the organisers as: “a charming Cornish party with some big live bands, a groovy silent disco, BBC Introducing stage, camping and glamping, Secret Cider Walks and cider tasting.”

With The Zutons and Reef headlining there’s plenty of music for grown-ups as well as food and drink with lots of locally produced cider.

For children there’s a chance to meet ponies, chickens, rabbits, ferrets, Pygmy goats and Cornish black pigs. What’s not to like.

Camp for the weekend or just visit for a day.

St Ives September Festival, St Ives, Cornwall 14-28 September

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The St Ives September Festival shows off the very best of Cornwall’s artistic talent from its best artists to its folk, roots and acoustic music scene.

Visitors can take part in historical guided walks and explore artists’ studios open to the public to see paintings, performance art and attend various music gigs over two weeks in St Ives.

Music styles are wide-ranging from folk, country rock, blues and R&B to rock, psychedelia and Americana. All available in the beautiful setting of St Ives, edged by turquoise waters of the sea.

Falmouth Oyster Festival, Falmouth, Cornwall 10-13 October

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The Falmouth Oyster Festival is one of Cornwall’s biggest and best loved food festivals.

The annual festival celebrates the start of oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of eating, drinking, live music, cooking demos, food and craft stalls.

Oyster fishing in the Fal River dates back to 1860 and is governed by ancient laws that ensure only traditional fishing methods are used to protect the natural ecology of the river bed and the oyster stocks. As a result, Fal oysters are known the world over and often in demand by the best London restaurants and hotels.

Top chefs and food experts from across Cornwall will provide daily cookery demonstrations at the festival, inspiring visitors to try exciting and unusual seafood, native oysters, wines, ales and local produce.

With a full accompanying music programme too, what’s not to like.

Lowender Peran, Hotel Bristol, Newquay, Cornwall 30th October - 3rd November 2019

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Lowender Peran is an annual Cornish music and dance festival based in Newquay at the Hotel Bristol full of great live music, things to do for all the family and an amazing atmosphere.

The event celebrates Cornish and Celtic traditions with music from both the past through to the present.

This year will see Gwenno headlining, a real coup for the festival, following her widespread success of the track, Tir Ha Mor, a song sung entirely in Cornish from the album, Le Kov.

Tickets are available from the festival’s website:

Come and join us at Hotel Bristol and experience a true Cornish festival for yourself.



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