Things to Do in Cornwall: Summer Arts & Music Festivals 2018

What's on in Cornwall this summer? 

Or as the famous Cornish comic, Kernow King (Ed Rowe) would say “wasson in Kernow, my birds”. 

Cornwall is nationally and internationally known for its thriving festival scene.  

Each summer, the tip of the South West Peninsula becomes a go-to destination for musos, foodies, lit-lovers and anyone else after a bit of cultural vibrancy.

To name every event, would require an outrageous unfurling scroll. There’s so many. This is great, but here’s a handpicked selection to get you started. In date order, so as not to confuse your diary.

The Eden Sessions, Bodelva (6th June –7th July)

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Sorry. This may have started a little bit.

Fret not though, you still have the better part of a month to see some great acts, including, Ben Howard (30th June), Queens of the Stone Age (3rd July), Jack Johnson (5th July) and Björk (7th July).

As night falls, music at The Eden Project is a singular experience, with exceptional natural acoustics and huge back-lit glass biomes. For more information please visit:

Rock Oyster Festival, Wadebridge (6th – 7th July)

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Rock Oyster Festival in North Cornwall is an easy to get to, family friendly festival with a sprinkling of local music, food, film and nature. There’s lots to keep the little ones occupied, from circus skills to forest school. They can even stroke an owl. What festivals have owls?

Also, for your achy dancing feet there’s hot tubs (Kernow Spring’s Wild Spa Project).

It describes itself as the most “eccentric little festival around”. It lives up to this positively and provides diverse fun for adults and children alike. For more information please visit:

Sundowner Sessions, Newquay (22nd July)

Image titlePhoto: Lusty Glaze Beach. 

“Performing at Lusty Glaze as the sun set over the ocean in front of our eyes was an extraordinary experience.”

These are the words of Morcheeba vocalist Skye Edwards, who will be returning with her band to headline this year’s Sundowner Session in Newquay Cove. They played in 2014, which Lusty Glaze owner Tracey Griffiths described as “absolutely incredible”.

It’s rare a band complements a venue so beautifully; the chilled summery sounds of Morcheeba are one with the soft sand, low-roar of the waves and coastal dusk.

Tickets for this event are possibly selling like hot cakes. So, quickly quickly, if you want to be in with a chance.

Tropical Pressure Festival, Porthtowan (13th –15th July)

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In Britain we can experience the best music, food, art, comedy, and literature from around the world. We’re a multi-cultural nation, and this is something that gives us pride.  

Tropical Pressure Festival is a celebration of the colourful, and rich cultures of Africa, Latin America and The Caribbean.

If you’d like to feel part of a community of like-minded people, listen to some authentic world music and sample some lovely vegan/ veggie food – please visit -

Port Eliot Festival, St Germans (26th – 29th July)

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Photo: From Port Eliot Festival Facebook. Copyright Applies. 

A festival of free thinkers; drinking, dancing, picnicking, laughing and diving down the rabbit hole of artistic expression.

Set in the picturesque grounds of The Port Eliot Estate, it’s perhaps the grandest and most magical garden party you’ll ever attend.

Whatever fires you up, you’ll not be bored. There’s music, words, fashion & art, local food & drink, chef demonstrations, comedy, outdoor adventures, workshops, family events and after hours fun stuff…for those that want to party on.

To start your Wonderland journey, please visit –

Boardmasters Festival, Newquay (8th – 12th August)

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Photo: Image on right from Boardmasters Facebook. Copyright Applies. 

Boardmasters is international head-to-head of some of the best surfers, skaters and BMXers in the world, all to a chart-topping soundtrack. Previous years have seen artists such as Faithless, Rudimental, Snoop Dogg, Ed Sheeran, Fat Boy Slim and Calvin Harris perform.

This year is no different, with household names in every corner, including George Ezra, The Chemical Brothers, Annie Mac, Friendly Fires and Lily Allen.

The festival atmosphere has an electric “till sunrise” feeling, with legendary afterparties each night. It’s a reveller’s favourite. Despite this, it doesn’t forget itself. Partyers must eat, right? And eat they will, in style too. The Festival boasts over “one hundred food experiences”, from fine dining to street food – and of course the humble (yet filling) Cornish pasty. Proper job.

For more information, and where the party is at, please visit

Cornwall Folk Festival, Wadebridge (23rd – 27th August)

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Where were you 46 years ago? It could be you were at Cornwall Folk Festival twirling to an Irish jig. If you were, that’s an impressive commitment to folk music. Well done you.

The point being, some festivals don’t get it right and disappear – but this one has endured the test of time.

Year after year the Cornwall Folk Festival attracts some of the most talented musicians in the game. August 2018 will see festival-comers enjoying the respected sounds of Roberts & Lakeman, Eddi Reader and all the way from Nashville, country music star Gretchen Peters.

For more information and a full line up, please visit –

Make Newquay Your Base This Summer

Not everyone is enamoured with the idea of roughing it in a flappy tent or using ever “interesting” festival loos.

What if you only want to sample a festival for one day?

Well then, you’ll want a friendly hotel with superb sea-views in a prime location – ideal for exploring Cornwall.

For more details on what Hotel Bristol can offer you, including room booking and special offers please visit -



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