The Newquay Arts Scene & Art8 Festival 2016

Although you might think of Newquay as predominantly a good times town of sand, surfing, bars and eateries, the town also has an unsung arts scene if you know where to look! We certainly value art here at the hotel. Cornwall has always been a big draw for visual artists in particular, some of whom have been regular hotel guests; you’ll spot some beautiful examples of art from the local area and beyond, and on one occasion a talented visiting artist actually paid for his family holiday by donating a painting to the hotel! These days we also sell locally made art and crafts in the hotel reception:

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Whether you are looking for local gigs, live theatre or great galleries, Newquay conceals a fair bit of culture for a little Cornish town. With the annual Art8 Festival about to kick off, 2016 is looking like an especially creative time for arts and entertainment in Newquay. Here’s our guide to festival highlights and local art attractions to look out for:

April 22nd: An Artistic Free-For-All! (Newquay Town Centre, All Day)

To begin the Art8 Festival in Newquay this year, Free Art Friday commences things on April 22nd with a feast of art hitting the streets of the town in fun and slightly anarchic fashion! Basically, budding and experienced artists of all standards will be showing their work in the streets of the town. It promises to be an evening of unexpected fun for all. Visitors can simply turn up and enjoy- or why not get in touch with ArtsandCraft Studios to submit your own masterpiece for public viewing?

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April 23rd: Shedloads of Shakespeare Family Day (Killacourt, All Day)

A wide range of attractions and performances make up this full day of Shakespearean fun , marking 400 years of the great playwright. You can catch Cornish style acapella from Oli and Gwella, watch the Cornish Dance Academy in action, or get involved in various have-a-go workshops, face painting and other family fun.

April 24th: Poetry Slam (Whiskers Bar From 7:30pm)

Think you’ve got what it takes to battle it out with the best of bards? Whiskers Bar, a regular haunt for live music and events in Newquay, is the setting for this contest of wit and wordplay. Join in with local poets, or just grab a seat and a beer as you listen to the mayhem unfold. Coming to think of it, that sounds like a safer option!

For more festival info, keep an eye on the Art8 Facebook page

Newquay Art Galleries, Theatres & Live Venues

Whether you arrive in time for the festival or not, there is always something creative happening in Newquay. Various cafes and bars feature local art, as well as hosting regular gigs, open mic nights and other events throughout the year. Here are some of the best venues:

The Green HeART Café & Art Gallery

Top notch coffee AND ace local art? What’s not to like? You’ll always find something colourful, cute or quirky at this Newquay coffee shop, even when the Cornish sun refuses to cooperate. Take a look at their Facebook page for regular updates and a taste of their cracking homemade cakes and artwork.   

Cornwall Galleries @ The Treasure Trove

Various popular local artists’ works on display in this long-standing Newquay collection of original art for sale. Lots of names to choose from, with classic Cornish locations. Click here to visit their Facebook page.Image title

Whistlefish Gallery

A wide range of affordable art, prints and cards available, including some classic images of Cornwall. Click here for more.

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Made on the Moon

Crafty treats aplenty in this independent store, with Newquay pottery, photography and much more besides. An ideal place to stop and pick up an authentic memento from your time in Cornwall. Visit the website here.

Pop Up Galleries & Crafts in Newquay

Besides businesses that are open all the time in the town, it is not unusual to find artists offering an open house for selected spells. The same is true for local crafts. You won't always find these places online, but it is always worth keeping your eyes peeled and checking local listings. perhaps the most fun discoveries of all are those made on foot as you enjoy a ramble around the town!


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The Lane Theatre

Staging a wide range of performances and productions, this much loved local theatre has been hosting productions and formed the home of Newquay Amateur Dramatic Society since 1980. This summer continues a tradition of offering something for all tastes, with entertainment ranging from The Producers Blues Band to local comedy and drama productions. See the website for current listings


Newquay Lighthouse Cinema

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Another wet weather favourite, the Lighthouse screens far more than just the latest blockbusters these days, with live screenings of performances from ballet to comedy giants and hightlights from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Click here for full listings. 


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