All About Boardmasters Festival

February 06, 2023
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© @BoardmastersFestival / Facebook

Cornwall, United Kingdom

Open Air / Indoor & Outdoor / Beach

XXL – 50k+

Rock, Electronic, Hip-Hop


Live Music, International

3+ Days

Boardmasters Festival is the mecca that brings live music lovers, surfers, and skateboarders together every year.

Founded by Andrew Topham, the festival held its first edition as a surfing competition in 1981 before expanding to musical acts in 2005.

Since then, Boardmasters has taken place every year in Cornwall, at the Watergate Bay, which is home to the famous Watergate Bay Hotel.

Boardmasters is a five-day surfboarding, skateboarding, and music festival in mid-August.

Regarded as one of the most influential music festivals in the United Kingdom for rock music, Broadmasters puts the spotlight on mega performances by sought-after bands and artists.

Boardmasters also welcomes talents from various genres, including indie, EDM, and hip-hop. The annual festival draws thousands of young music, surfing, and skateboarding enthusiasts.

Boardmasters has become a must-visit for surfers and skateboarders worldwide over the last few decades, especially for the many competitions held during the festival.

Here’s everything you need to know about Boardmasters Festival.

© @BoardmastersFestival / YouTube

The rise of Boardmasters

While famous for its iconic performances, the festival stays true to its history as a surfing and skateboarding event.

Boardmasters organizes annual competitions for talented surfers eager to become a part of the festival’s history by riding some waves. 

Boardmasters Open, held on Fistral Beach, is also dubbed the biggest surf competition in the United Kingdom. The contest sees pro surfers going head-to-head every year on rock, indie and hip-hop beats.

The World Surf League returns yearly with sponsors and namesake competitions like the Animal Pro and the BFGoodrich LongBoard Pro. As for the future generation of surfers, they can participate in the Havaianas Junior Open competition.


For those who’d rather watch the competitions, you can head to the festival’s beach bar, where you can watch the show while sipping a drink.

On the other hand, there are competitions dedicated to skating devotees. The festival site includes a mini-ramp in the headland and a vert ramp in the beach’s car park.

Boardmasters festival has witnessed some of the world’s most iconic performers

© @boardmastersfestival / Facebook

Over the past two decades, Boardmasters has built a reputation as a roaring festival for the major league names it hosted.

Hundreds of top-notch artists and rockstars took over Boardmasters’ stages over the years. Iconic headliners excite the festival’s crowds at every edition with jaw-dropping performances.

In the past, the festival featured pop and electronic household names, including Ed Sheeran, Two Door Cinema Club, and Calvin Harris.

The picturesque festival is in an even more scenic location

© @boardmastersfestival / Facebook

Boardmasters takes place in southwest Cornwall in Newquay, a seaside town. Watergate Bay is where the lineups take over, while Fistral Beach bears witness to the sporting activities.

Cornwall is a historic city recognized as a Celtic, as it preserves its Cornish language and dialect.

History is made on ten stages

Boardmasters features ten different stages throughout the festival site, which house electric performances from musical heroes throughout the fest days.

The main stage is where most of the action happens. This bad boy is graced with the most significant performances and roaring headliners, welcoming the largest audience annually. 


Other notable stages include The Point stage, an open-air party mecca with a breathtaking Watergate Bay backdrop. The stage pays homage to surf and invites DJs from clubs across the United Kingdom to take over the audio decks and create the ultimate beach party.

While the Unleashed stage hosts one of the biggest indoor raves in southwest England, The Point is all about the grime, garage, electro, and house beats. 

If you’d like to discover some upcoming artists, you can head to The View, a stage that welcomes new performers with open arms. This one witnessed the rise of artists like George Ezra, who took Boardmasters’ stage early in his career.

Boardmasters festival includes a boutique camp

Camping doesn’t have to be rough. Boardmasters offers high-end camping options, adding a touch of luxury to your raw festival experience. Boardmasters’ Boutique Camp’s claw catches you when you’re seeking extra festival comfort.


Options include Bell Tents, Tipis, Yurts, and Luxury Bedouins, which come with better showers and a pampering area, equipped with blow dryers, mirrors, and straighteners, along with eco loos.

The Boutique Camp includes an exclusive bar and food options to make your weekend easier.

Boardmasters Festival features a plethora of activities

The festival invites you to discover your inner adventurer while at Boardmasters, with an array of water activities you can experience during the festival. 

You can explore Cornwall’s wild coast, its smuggler caves, and hidden coves – or even discover adrenaline-pumped rapids and do some daring cliff jumps. The activities include coasteering, surfing lessons, kayaking, and snorkeling. 


When the partying gets a bit too much, unwinding and letting your hair down is an option at Boardmasters’ Zennor Haven.

Through its wellbeing-focused program, the fest holds yoga and meditation sessions while attendees bask in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean above Watergate Bay’s cliffs.

Live the silent disco experience

Boardmasters knows that every festival-goer is unique, which is why the Cornwall fest integrates the silent disco concept every year into its music blueprint. 

© @boardmastersfestival / Facebook

With an array of sound waves waiting to be blasted through the headphones, Boardmasters’ hands-in-the-air silent music experience morphed into the United Kingdom’s biggest silent disco.

The event features a variety of genres, from hype-pop to rock classics, taking place over two nights and across two different stages (the main and DB90 stages).

The show continues at the official after parties


When the endless chain of live acts ends, you can keep the fest vibe alive at Boardmasters’ official after-parties. The shindigs take place at Berties and Sailors in Newquay and include a star-studded roster of DJs and artists.

Performances by the likes of Jax Jones and Flava D who will keep you dancing until the sun comes up.

The festival keeps things sustainable and green

The festival has a Green Team dedicated to creating a greener and cleaner festival. The members roam the festival daily, ensuring the site and camps are clean and that all recyclable materials are in their designated bins.

© @boardmastersfestival / Facebook

Boardmasters accepts volunteers passionate about environmentalism to participate in the Green Team. Their mission is to make the music event one of the industry’s most environmentally conscious and low-impact festivals.


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