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Rambunctious fun at The Great Estate

The Great Estate Festival is one of Cornwall’s most popular summer events. Taking place over three days at Scorrier House, the festival has something for everyone, from headline acts to well-being events to secret garden performances to delicious feasting. We went along on Saturday to see how much Great Estate goodness we could pack into just one day!

What hit us when we first arrived was just how big the festival was. The different areas of the festival are spread out across the grounds of Scorrier House. We explored all the areas to get our bearings, starting with the wellness area where you can take part in various yoga and holistic classes, indulge in a massage or (as we did) eat some delicious homemade cake.

Early on we felt the eclectic magic of the Great Estate Festival when a samba band set was swiftly followed by medieval re-enactment! We then moved into the fair area where families were trying out the rides or hoping to win a giant panda.

Our first musical experience of the day was in the Secret Gin Garden. Perhaps my favourite space at the festival, it is a chilled out area with deck chairs and Tarquin’s bar serving cocktails. We watched Intimate Opera who entertained the crowds with a selection of bite-sized operatic pieces. Sipping our drinks in the warm sun and listening to the exquisite voices was a highlight of the afternoon.

We then headed off to explore some more, stopping by the Octopus Lounge. The Octopus Lounge is the perfect place to relax and recharge before heading back out into the main festival. We visited the Cornwall Shop Small tent filled to the brim with makers from across the region. We loved having the chance to browse and purchase a range of lovely items including clothing, ceramics and notebooks. Perfect for a special festival souvenir.

It also felt like a good moment to sample the huge range of food the festival has to offer. For those looking for something extra special, you can partake in a Festival Feast, hosted by Rupert Cooper and the Philleigh Way team. We hadn’t secured a ticket for this, so instead we tucked into delicious loaded fries from Big Eats, followed by an espresso martini from Origin Coffee.

This caffeine boost was much needed as we danced our socks at Cornwall’s Drag Race, hosted by Layla Zee Susan. The show featured a quartet of Queens including Cornwall’s Vicki Vivacious, recently seen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The Queens brought the house down with a mixture of fierce lip-syncs and staggering vocal talent.

Then it was time for the headliner. The Darkness hit the stage with a set that was truly epic. Frontman Justin Hawkins was captivating, encouraging the huge crowd to clap, wave, sing-a-long, and jump. He led the way with a mid-song headstand and for the final song a bodyguard carried Hawkins on his shoulders around the audience and he played a guitar solo. Absolutely breath-taking.

But the fun didn’t end with the Darkness. It was time for, what felt like, the world’s largest silent disco, allowing revellers to dance until the small hours before retiring to their tents. For those attending the whole weekend there is a large camping area (complete with Bell Tents for those who prefer a bit more luxury!).

It was my first time visiting the Great Estate Festival but I’ll definitely be back for more rambunctious happenings and incredible live music.


All Images: The Great Estate 2024_Matthew Hawkey 


Bethany is often happiest watching one of Cornwall’s brilliant theatre companies. She also loves festivals, coastal walks, and exploring Cornish history and heritage.