Summer Festivals Top Picks
The flurry of festivals continues in Cornwall. Here are 21 that are coming up soon!
Summer is a busy time in Cornwall and our beautiful duchy is always packed to the brim with fantastic events and things to do. We can’t even begin to count them all! With an abundance of festivals coming up we thought we’d do a festivals focus this month to show off the wide ranging celebrations. From gin to ice-cream, books to space – you’ll find themes of all kinds.
As always this is only a small sample of events for the coming months. Visit our listings where you can find out about even MORE festivals. Or if it’s theatre you’re after, you can also search for this on our website along with live music, outdoor, dance, comedy and so much more.
1. Penzance Literary Festival
Wed 3rd — Sat 6th July, 2019
Various venues in Penzance
Plenty to choose from all week long at West Cornwall’s big literary event. Whether you’re a writer yourself or prefer to stick to reading, whether you love poetry or are fascinated by history, whether it’s the great outdoors or Cornish music that excites you – there’s something here for you. The literary walks, and Publishing Day will be returning this year, as well as a special ‘welcome on board’ to new partners – the Honey Pot café, and Waterstones.
2. Bodmin Riding & Heritage Festival
Fri 5th — Sun 7th July, 2019
Bodmin Riding is an ancient Cornish festival rooted in the unique history of Bodmin town, our Cornish identity, and the community of Bodmin. It aims to celebrate the rich traditions of our ancient Cornish heritage through a weekend of free events, activities and entertainment. Festivities at the Bodmin Riding Festival include the ancient tradition of the floral garlands, the procession of St Petroc’s bones, the Riding Ale and the Trial of the Beast of Bodmin! This year, to honour the oldest tradition of the festival (the collection of flowers) everyone is encouraged to come along in their finest floral attire….floral shirts, flower crowns, garlands, even daisy beards! If it’s got Flower Power, we want to see it!
3. Lafrowda Festival
Fri 5th – Sat 20th July, 2019
St Just Town Centre
Lafrowda Festival is an annual event in St. Just in Penwith, in celebration of community arts. Lafrowda Day is held on the third Saturday of July, with free activities for all the family during the preceding fortnight, ranging from knit and natter to dancing shows. Lafrowda Day itself is full of live music, stalls and three fantastic community parades with withy sculptures and a torchlit procession. The Plain-An-Gwarry is a dedicated space for families during the day.
4. GeekFest 5.0
Sat 6th — Sun 7th July, 2019
Cornwall’s largest comic con returns to Heartlands, even bigger and better than ever! All of your favourite features including cosplay competitions, movie props, interactive exhibits, activities for all ages and celebrity guests – PLUS music, LARPing arena, full schedule of entertainment on both days, even more stalls, artists and attractions!
Come and enjoy a festival of geekery like no other – plus a jam packed after party on the Saturday night (18+) .
5. Food Jam
Sat 6th — Sun 7th July, 2019
Enys Gardens, Penryn
This two day, family friendly event, features a programme jam packed with kids entertainment, as well as inspiring talks and demonstrations, live music and workshops. With a focus on sustainable food and drinks, visitors can enjoy a range of world foods made with local ingredients, wild beers and cocktails , organic wines and local
The programme includes family yoga, taster foraging walks, wild food cooking demos, tour of Enys house, live music from several local bands and talks and demonstrations from local chefs and business owners.
6. Tropical Pressure Festival
Fri 12th – Sun 14th July, 2019
Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan
This family friendly festival returns for its 6th year, celebrating the rich music, art, dance and food of 3 Tropical continents. Come and become immersed in the cultures of Latin America, Africa and the Carribbean at the beautiful Mount Pleasant Eco Park this July. This year will feature a fantastic line-up of music, free workshops and amazing vegetarian food.
Tropical Pressure is committed to being as environmentally responsible as possible and aims to be a zero waste festival by 2025. Come and take part in their clothes swap, print your own TP merchandise and, for those who cycle to the site, enjoy a free drink on the house! Come and join a community of people who share a love of music, creativity and sustainability.
7. Falmouth Gin Festival at The Greenbank
Sat 13th July, 2019
The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth
The Greenbank Hotel are excited to announce the return of their second Falmouth Gin Festival. Your ticket will include a G&T on arrival, samples from local distilleries, and of course a keepsake branded gin glass to hold all your favourite future tipples. Relax with a cocktail at the bar, or share a tasting board of nibbles with your friends. Finally finish the evening by dancing the night away to your favourite tunes in The Riverbank!
Festival-goers can expect a whole host of entertainment including masterclasses from gin distilleries and performances from local singer songwriters and resident DJ. Although the main focus will be on gin, there will also be a vast range of other spirits available. This includes local rums, vodkas and craft liqueurs, to name a few. So to gin or not to gin? Silly question really. Gather your crew and celebrate the ‘Falmouth Gin Festival’ this summer!
8. Apollo 50
Sat 20th — Sun 21st July, 2019
Goonhilly Earth Station, Helston
Come and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Apollo 50 is a family-friendly day of education, entertainment, science, technology, art and music at the iconic Goonhilly Earth Station.
Public Service Broadcasting will perform songs from their 2015 album The Race for Space, a concept album that relives the story of the American and Soviet space race. There’ll also be a DJ set by Orbital in what’s sure to be an unforgettable live music experience.
9. Ice Cream & Bubbles Festival
Sun 21st July, 2019
Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Torpoint
The ultimate festival for ice-cream lovers in the South West on national ice-cream day at this stunning Country Park. Expect a huge selection of ice-creams from local ice-cream sellers with every flavour you could wish for (including vegan ice creams). There will also be a workshop on offer where you can make your very own ice cream candy beaded bracelet with a mixture of bright, candy-coloured wooden beads and fun ice cream themed polymer clay beads. With added children’s entertainment, bubbles, live music, gift stalls, street food and a prosecco bar, this promises to be a fun family day out.
10. Port Eliot Festival
Thu 25th July, 2019 — Sun 28th July, 2019
Port Eliot Estate, Saltash
Port Eliot Festival is the original free-ranging festival of ideas, which draws an unmatchable collection of artists, musicians, writers, comedians, performers, thinkers, makers, protagonists, agitators and scribblers to one of the most beautiful corners of the country.
Recent years have seen Barbara Hulanicki and Sandy Powell leading a fashion drawing masterclass for children; Kate Winslet performing a Sunday morning children’s story; Dominic West hosting a spelling bee; Britain’s finest wildlife sound recordist, Chris Watson, blasting the sounds of Sheffield along the river walk; Gruff Rhys presenting a poignant and funny musical history lesson; tales of life as the ‘60s it-girl and style inspiration from Penelope Tree; and Martin Scorsese handpicking the film programme.
11. Leopallooza XIII
Fri 26th — Sun 28th July, 2019
The Wyldes, Bude
Leopallooza Festival is a multi award-winning, grass roots music festival. The event celebrates the very best in new, up-and-coming and established bands, artists and DJs within the bespoke festival site which is nestled in a hidden, tree-filled Cornish valley, just a few miles from the sea.
Three days and nights, multiple stages, over 100 great acts, free camping, family friendly, fairly priced bars…and they sure know how to throw a party.
12. St Endellion Summer Music Festival
Tue 30th July, 2019 — Fri 9th August, 2019
St Endellion Church, Port Isaac
Enjoy 10 days of chamber, choral and orchestral concerts and opera at St Endellion’s 61st Summer Music Festival. Brilliant young conductor Duncan Ward will make his festival debut conducting this year’s opera, Death in Venice, starring Mark Padmore, Roderick Williams and Robin Blaze. The opening concerts see Ryan Wigglesworth directing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 from the piano, while Adam Hickox returns to the podium to conduct the Festival chorus and orchestra in Part 1 of Mendelssohn’s dramatic oratorio St Paul.
13. Sing Along the River
Thursdays in August
Parade Gardens, Lostwithiel
Lost in Song, Lostwithiel’s much-loved community choir will be hosting a series of music evenings next to the River Fowey in Lostwithiel’s Parade Gardens. The evenings will run from 5.30pm to 10.30pm every Thursday in August. If the weather turns bad performances will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church in the town centre. Now in their sixth year, the line up is just as lively and exciting as ever and there will be lots of opportunities to join the chorus and sing along with Lost in Song.
Weds 7th – Sun 11th August, 2019
Fistral Beach & Watergate Bay, Newquay
Five epic days of music, surf and beach lifestyle, all set to the stunning backdrop of the Cornish coastline. From the first wave to the last beat, Boardmasters brings like-minded souls together for a unique festival experience. With parties that run late into the night, and beautiful beaches on which to recuperate during the day, we invite you to become part of our story…
15. St Columb Arts and Heritage Festival
Mon 12th — Sun 18th August, 2019
The Columba Centre, St Columb Major
Residents and visitors are invited to get involved in the rich arts and heritage of St Columb Major through a week of creative events. This will include an evening of music with The Coastal Belles and Boscastle Buoys, Fair and Square – an exhibition of 50 square canvases that have been painted, printed, collaged or creatively decorated by professional and amateur artists. There will also be a Scratchband Workshop and performance run and inspired by the musician, guitarist and music producer Giles Wooley. ‘A Cornish Summer’- a themed competition and exhibition of photographs that have been taken by residents of St Columb, will be exhibited in an outdoor display every night during the festival. There will be art workshops and demonstrations to get involved in and lastly a Vintage Tea Party, hosted by Pink Peach Cake Company, with craft and vintage stalls and creative workshops.
16. Cornwall Folk Festival
Thu 22nd — Mon 26th August, 2019
Wadebridge Town Centre
Cornwall Folk Festival brings some of folk’s finest to north Cornwall, and showcases great talent from across Cornwall and the South West. Wadebridge’s streets and pubs pulse with regional artists in abundance, with folk music right across the spectrum from traditional to contemporary in an intimate, ultra-friendly town-based setting. This year’s line-up will feature The Unthanks, Steve Knightley, Flats and Sharps, Midnight Skyracer and Noble Jacks headline.
17. Taste of Scilly Festival
Sun 1st Mon- 30th Sept, 2019
Isles of Scilly
The fantastic Taste of Scilly festival returns this September with a month-long celebration of the very best in local food, drink and produce from across the five inhabited islands. This year’s event will, in particular, showcase the tiny islands’ outstanding seafood offering alongside other island-grown delights.
18. Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival
Fri 13th — Sun 15th September, 2019
Healey’s Cyder Farm
Welcome to the seventh year of The Little Orchard Cider and Music festival, 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 featuring a huge range of delicious ciders from across the UK plus lots, lots more.
19. St Ives September Festival
Sat 14th – Sat 28th September, 2019
Various venues across St Ives
From wonderful music, poetry and art to storytelling, street entertainment, surfing, films and workshops, St Ives has it all this September. This year’s festival will feature Dougie Maclean, Dervish, Show of Hands, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow, Katie Kirk & Rick Williams, Geoff Lakeman, The 2 Buskerteers, Otway & Barrett, The Sandy Acre 7, Tir Ha Tavas, ARKangel plus over 250 arts events. Come and enjoy this two week celebration of music and the arts in St Ives.
20. Looe Live!
Fri 20th – Sun 22nd September, 2019
Looe Town Centre
Following last year’s amazingly successful Looe Saves the Day Festival, the town is staging a brand new event for 2019. With additional stages, more local acts and street entertainers performing throughout the town, and a new community zone, there will be even more on offer for local people and visitors to enjoy. The festival may have a new name and a new logo, but organisers promise that Looe Live! 2019 will provide the same fantastic mix of acts and the same incredible community spirit.
21. Truro Food Festival
Fri 27th — Sun 29th September, 2019
Lemon Quay, Truro
A brand new food festival to be held in Truro over the weekend of 27 – 29 September 2019. The city-wide celebration of Cornish food and drink will be centred around Lemon Quay with pop-up events and activities taking place across the city. Daytime content will include chef’s demos, a local produce market, gourmet street food stalls, a local restaurant trail, workshops and live entertainment showcasing the best in local talent. The evening content will include a beer and cider festival and live music on all three nights. The festival will officially be opened with a very special charity benefit gig with all profits donated to the Trussell Trust, a charity that aims to end hunger and poverty in the UK.