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From the Blog

What's on in Cornwall this summer: 2023's festivals, live music and foodie events

Posted by Bethany Walton on Updated on
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Events to add to your calendar this summer

The turn of a new year brings with it exciting opportunities and plans to be made, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of Cornwall’s best summer events for 2023. From independent foodie festivals to family-friendly gigs by the sea, let us help you plan the year ahead with our complete summer diary.

April 

Rattler Fest 
When: 21st - 22nd April
Where: Healy’s Cyder Farm, Penhallow
Tickets available here
 
Loved by locals for its vibrant music scene and homegrown cider offerings, Rattler Fest will be returning for its third year this April. Set in the grounds of Healy’s Cyder Farm, this adults-only festival is brimming with DJ sets, silent discos and live bands. Come evening, sample their array of fruity ciders and watch the light show illuminate the trees. Their 2023 line-up has already been announced, with the likes of Freshly Squeezed and The Hoosiers taking to the stage.

Port Isaac Shanty Festival
When: 21st - 23rd April 
Where: Port Isaac 

There’s nothing that says summer in Cornwall more than a Shanty Festival, and where better to attend one than Port Isaac. Home to the Fisherman’s Friends, this little harbourfront village is known for its a capella sea shanties and folk song. A free event, be sure to arrive early to enjoy the day’s live music and boat races along the bustling water’s edge. With any luck the sun will be shining, so look forward to joining the crowds and singing along to Drunken Sailor with pints of Cornish ale in hand. 

 

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Porthleven Food Festival
When: 21st - 23rd April
Where: Porthleven Harbour

Taking place along the waterfront, Porthleven’s annual festival is well-established as one of Cornwall’s best foodie events. Hosted in partnership with Jude Kereama of Kota Kai, their line-up features culinary demonstrations, delicious food stalls and live music. Wander the streets in search of lunch before finding a seat to watch local chefs whip up a dish. Taking place over three days and free to attend, there’s plenty to keep everybody entertained, whether you dip in for a few hours or spend the day getting involved.

For the full round-up of events, head to their website to read more.

 

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© Porthleven Food Festival

May

Tunes in the Dunes 
When: 12th - 14th May 
Where: Perranporth Beach
Tickets available here

Taking place on Perranporth’s sunkissed shores, Tunes in the Dunes always promises a great line-up for their three-day festival. This year’s no different with The Vaccines, Kaiser Chiefs and James Bay heading up the weekend. The festival is hosted by the Watering Hole, one of the UK’s only beach bars, and is known for its relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Arrive and head to the bar first for rounds of icy Cornish pilsner before the live music commences. 

 

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© Tunes in the Dunes via Instagram

St Ives Food and Drink Festival
When: 12th - 14th May
Where: St Ives Harbour

Honouring local artisans and chefs, St Ives Food and Drink Festival attracts visitors from far and wide for a long weekend of events. Taking place on the sands of Porthminster Beach, the day event is free and complete with food stands, demonstrations and live music. Spend time scouting out the best seafood paella to pair with a Tarquin’s gin and tonic to enjoy in the sunshine. When afternoon rolls around, gather for a cookery masterclass by one of Cornwall’s renowned chefs with the likes of Emily Scott or Jack Stein on the line up, with an incredible beach setting to match.

 

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© St Ives Food and Drink Festival (left)

Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 
When: 12th - 20th May
Where: In and around Fowey 

In homage to Daphne Du Maurier, a previous resident of Fowey, the town comes together to celebrate its literary links and history of arts for a week every May. Returning for its 25th year in 2023, expect an art trail amongst the beautiful galleries, meet local authors and attend insightful writing talks. Buzzing with activities, enjoy wandering Fowey’s picturesque streets in between events, stopping at the Old Grammar School Gardens to admire the shimmering views over the river. Or if you'd like to stop for something to eat, visit one of Fowey's best restaurants, cafés and pubs

June 

The Great Estate Festival
When: 2nd - 4th June
Where: Scorrier 
Tickets available here

One for those wishing to escape to West Cornwall this summer, The Great Estate Festival takes place in the grounds of Scorrier House, near Porthtowan. Award-winning as a family festival, this whimsical themed event is a great way to introduce little ones to the live music scene. There’s a secret gin garden, circus stages and a hidden zen den waiting to be discovered. The line-up is kept under wraps until closer to the event, so follow their goings-on via Instagram to be the first to know.

The Wyldes 
When: June - July
Where: Bude
Tickets available here

Family-friendly and set amongst beautiful woodlands, The Wyldes hosts various music events throughout the summer. Built by festival-lovers for festival-goers, the setting is small but maintains an incredible party atmosphere throughout. This year, the festival organisers have already announced that the Ministry of Sound will play alongside a 30-piece orchestra for their classical set, along with Two Door Cinema Club who are set to perform on the 30th June. They'll also be hosting their annual festival Leopallooza in July, with Lianne La Havas, Metronomy and Sleaford Mods heading up the weekend. There’s still more to come, so sign up to their mailing list to be first in line for tickets. 

 

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© Matthew Hawkey for The Wyldes


Eden Sessions
When: June - July 
Where: Bodelva, near St Austell
Tickets available here

Known as one of the best live music venues in Cornwall, the Eden Sessions are renowned for booking world-class acts, with most of their shows taking place in June and July. Sitting in front of the botanical gardens and biomes, the open-air stage is framed by an incredible light show every night. This year, Lionel Richie and Jack Johnson have already been confirmed, with more acts due to be announced soon. What’s more, entry to Eden is included with all tickets, so make a day of it and explore the site before enjoying dinner in their biome kitchen. 

July 

PandaFest
When: 7th - 8th July
Where: Lanivet
Tickets available here

A grass-roots festival set in the idyllic Cornish countryside, PandaFest originally began in 2018 in the Lanivet Inn. Hosting an array of local talent and DJs, the festival now welcomes 1000s of music lovers every year and is set to become even bigger this summer. There’s plenty to keep little ones entertained with face painting and music making workshops throughout the day. Come evening, sample local ales and ciders from the bar and dance the night away. Follow their Instagram where they’ll be revealing this year's line-up in the next few weeks. 

 

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Food Jam
When: 8th - 9th July
Where: Penryn 

Set in the picturesque Enys Gardens, Food Jam is a weekend of foraging walks, wilderness yoga and gin workshops. There are also live demos, music and plenty of food and drinks stalls to keep everyone’s taste buds happy. Perfectly family-friendly, this weekend of events is bursting with well-being activities for all ages. With many of our favorite foodie pop-ups making an appearance during the weekend, pick up Bundt Buns from Kern of Kernow and spicy fish tacos from El Huichol. More details for this year’s Food Jam will be announced soon, so be sure to like their Facebook page for more. 

Tropical Pressure
When: 14th - 17th July 
Where: Porthtowan
Tickets available here

One of Cornwall’s best independent festivals, Tropical Pressure takes place every July in the grassy fields above Porthtowan. A really good option for families, the festival is vibrant, friendly and easy-going. There’s music and hula hooping workshops for children during the day, as well as flower crown making and circus skills for everyone to get involved with. 

Priding themselves on their eco-credentials, you’ll also find a delicious mix of veggie and vegan foodie pop-ups to keep you going in between the live music. Their early bird release sold out pretty quickly, so be sure to snap up a weekend ticket here.

 

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© LLE Photography for Tropical Pressure

Rock Oyster Festival
When: 27th - 30th July 
Where: Rock
Tickets available here

Set in the grounds of Dinham House in Rock, this festival has become a firm favorite amongst Cornwall’s live music events. At its core, Rock Oyster Festival celebrates local artisans and established chefs, with plenty of cookery masterclasses and feasts happening over the weekend. 

In more recent years, the festival has also placed an emphasis on well-being with lots of family-friendly events such as yoga, campfire tales and foraging skills on the schedule. This year, Nile Rodgers & Chic are set to get everyone singing and dancing as the Saturday headliner, with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Big Moon also taking to the stage.

Set to sell out, secure your tickets to Rock Oyster ahead of a trip to one of our luxury holiday homes in Rock

 

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© Caitlin Mogridge and Ania Shrimpton for Rock Oyster Festival

August 

Silo Sessions
When: throughout August
Where: Golant, near Fowey

Opened in the summer of 2021, Bar Silo has been named Cornwall’s coolest music venue for 2023. Hosting live music every Friday, expect a wonderful evening of singing and dancing with local bands and artists providing the soundtrack. Lit by fairy lights and surrounded by hay bales, the small music venue pays homage to its home on the farm. There's mix of indoor and outdoor spaces too which means the rain never gets in the way of an event. The well-stocked bar offers craft beers, local ales and a delicious cocktail menu full of Cornish concoctions. Acts for this summer are yet to be announced, but keep on eye on their socials for weekly events. 

 

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© Bar Silo

Boardmasters 
When: 9th - 13th August 
Where: Watergate Bay
Tickets available here 

It wouldn’t be a round-up of Cornish festivals without mentioning Boardmasters. Founded in the 80s as a surfing competition, it’s now one of the biggest music, surf and skate events in the UK. Taking place on the headland above Watergate Bay, expect to see incredible live music with an even better ocean backdrop. This year, Liam Gallagher and Florence and The Machine have already been announced as the headliners, with many more artists still to come. 

 

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© Boardmasters via Instagram

September

Bands in the Sands
When: Throughout September
Where: The Watering Hole
Tickets available here

Hosted by The Watering Hole on Perranporth Beach, Bands in the Sands events are stand-alone performances that take place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout September. In the past, the likes of Tom Misch, Example and Seasick Steve have played sell-out shows, with events still to be confirmed for this year. True to the name, the laid back gigs take place on the sand with incredible sunsets to match. Order a round of mojitos from cocktail bar Beetlejuice before the music starts and find a seat on the beach to soak it all in. 

Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival 
When: 8th - 10th September
Where: Healy’s Cyder Farm, Penhallow
Tickets available here

One for families, Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival is set in the grounds of Healy’s Cyder Farm. Taking place in September, make the most of the last summer sun with a weekend of live music and good food. This year, expect to see fun sets by The Wurzels before Willie and The Bandits headline on Sunday 10th September. What’s more, all bars are stocked with the farm’s apple cider and juices - the perfect Cornish tipple for a weekend of live music. 

Stay in Cornwall this summer 

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Left: Seathrift | Middle: Brynia | Right: Trevenek

Whether you want to retreat to Cornwall for a week of live music, to wander through vibrant food festivals, or simply to switch off, we have beautiful homes dotted around the county, ready to welcome you. From waterfront homes on the west coast to incredible beach houses on the north, fall in love with Cornwall with a summer stay this year. 

Photo credits: Matthew Hawkey for The Wyldes | Caitlin Mogridge and Ania Shrimpton for Rock Oyster Festival (including main image) | Porthleven Food Festival | St Ives Food and Drink Festival | Bar Silo, Boardmasters, Tunes in the Dunes via Instagram | All other images are our own or from Unsplash. 

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Posted by Bethany Walton

Beth can usually be found on a Cornish beach or enjoying a swim in the sea. She has great insight about where to visit across the county, plus plenty of recommendations for finding the best Cornish ice cream.

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