Celebrating Newquay’s extreme sports culture, the Boardmasters festival is a three-day-long celebration of surfing, skateboarding and BMX, with a seven-stage music festival now part of the action. The Men’s Pro 5 Star WQS surf competition is hosted on Fistral Beach with a half pipe and ramp constructed for skaters and BMX riders. Held mid-August, Boardmasters also includes longboard and shortboard competitions, as well as heats for juniors and those under 12. Home to world-class surfing since 1981, Boardmasters continues to attract the finest wave riders in the world, including 11 times world champion Kelly Slater.
For many though, the real attraction now is the music festival, which runs concurrently at the Watergate Bay beach. Some huge names have headlined in the past, including Ed Sheeran, Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Fatboy Slim and Calvin Harris. As well as the main stage and its array of pop and indie acts, there are several dance tents open late into the night, showcasing a range of DJ and live electronic music spanning everything from drum and bass to techno.
Weekend tickets include camping access for all four days, with tickets increasing in price the closer you book to the event. If you don’t fancy camping under canvas, you can hire a campervan for the weekend or take one of their glamping options, which include a range of elaborate tents and tipis. And of course, our Newquay (Quintrell Downs) hotel is just a 10-minute drive away, meaning you can get a good night’s sleep and hit the festival fully recharged the next day. Weekend parking is available at an additional cost, and there are several shuttle buses running from the centre of Newquay to the festival throughout the day.
As well as surfing and the music festival, Newquay comes alive with impromptu gigs held across the bars and pubs, while the various clubs host a variety of after-parties taking you well into the next day. If that all sounds a bit too hectic, the campsite village has plenty of street eats and even yoga sessions, holistic massage therapy and reflexology, meaning you can take Boardmasters at your own speed.