Alexandra Hurley hunts out the best events in and around Cornwall this month...



5 May

Undercover Hippy

The Undercover Hippy, AKA Billy Rowan, is set to showcase his new album at Perranporth Watering Hole for a unique take on fake news, internet privacy, the U.S election and nappy wearing barristers. Expect thought-provoking protest pieces, wry humour and ludicrous storytelling from this former drum n’ bass DJ, backed by his full band for a high energy show.


17 May

Maximo Park

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Alternative pop experts Maximo Park bring their trademark

hook-laden melodies, off-kilter


rock, soulful grooves and pop sensibilities together in their new album Risk to Exist. Touring their new album, Maximo Park head to Falmouth Princess Pavilion this May to unleash their infectious tracks on Cornwall.

26-28 May

Masked Ball

The Masked Ball promises A Voyage Through the Underworld at Beacon Crag, Porthleven, beginning with a grand long table feast before guests are transported through a network of lost counter-cultures and iconic venues, with the legendary parties that took place upon those dance floors. Artists include Cuban Brothers, Jelly Jazz, Dicky Trisco, Honey Soundsystem, Space Echo and 45 Live, amongst others.


Tickets from £50:

27 May

Emily Maguire

Classically-trained multi-instrumentalist, Emily Maguire released her fourth album A Bit Of Blue’ earlier this year and will be performing at The Acorn Penzance. The new album retains all the underlying trademarks of her emotive, lyric-rich songs that are present in her previous albums.

Tickets from £11



6-13 May

Fowey Festival

A particular highlight of the 21st Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature is the screening of the UK Premier of the Arte film, Daphne de Maurier: In the Footsteps of Rebecca. Fowey’s Secret Gardens, never before having been seen by the public, will be on display, together with a gardener’s question time with experts from the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery. Enjoy a programme of workshops, talks, discussion panels, films and concerts to please all ages.

13 & 14 May

St Ives Food Fest

A must for food-lovers, St Ives Food and Drink Festival will see national TV faces taking to the stage, culinary experts, local street food and artisan producers and an abundance of activities and entertainment – all on the beautiful Porthminster Beach. Be inspired by Michelin-starred Cornish Chef Nathan Outlaw, Spanish restaurateur José Pizarro and Jack Stein, as they take to the stage to showcase their delicious dishes.

Weekend tickets are £5 and include Saturday night’s entertainment.

13 & 14 May

Mini Riviera run

Held at Pentewan Sands, The Riviera Run is hosted by the Cornish Mini Club and attracts an impressive show of Minis from across the decades and this year. Don’t miss the famous Mini Cruise, Tech Tent, Inter Club Games, Glow Show and Mini Race Cars, plus children’s entertainment and live shows.

14 May


The town of Lostwithiel will be brimming with arts, crafts, music and dance, with non-stop live music from 10am onwards, at Lostfest. Guests can enjoy local arts and crafts stalls, a food village full of foodie delights, Medieval Battle Re-enactment, demonstrations and workshops and children’s entertainment, including an inflatable assault course on King George V field.

19-21 May

Beach polo

Watergate Bay will see more than 20 ponies thundering across the sand in high-level polo matches Aspall Polo. The Aspall beach bar, Jacquart Champagne garden and street food stalls will be from 12pm on Friday, with the action starting at 3.30pm, before a barbeque and live music concludes the first day. Saturday’s afternoon entertainment will begin with the Knights of Middle England, a team of jousters and stunt horse riders, followed by the Aspall Trophy match at 6.30pm and then the much-anticipated Polo on the Beach Party. Sunday will see a fun dog show hosted by local charity, St Francis Home for Animals.

22-28 May

Children's hospice week

UK charity Together for Short Lives is launching a campaign, #UpTheVolume, across the country to turn up the volume on children’s palliative care to raise awareness about the needs of seriously ill children and to celebrate all the lifeline services that provide help to families. Raise money by hosting a Noisy 9-5 in your office (neon outfits and lunchtime quizzes) or a Noisy Night (playlist party and karaoke competitions).

26 May – 4 June

Fal River Fest

Encompassing over 150 events varying from music and drama, the arts and heritage to gig racing, swimming and walking, The Falmouth University Fal River Festival will take place in a variety of venues around the Fal River. Don’t miss jazz bands playing on the harbour in St Mawes, film screenings on ferries moored offshore and the Castle to Castle swim across the Fal Estuary.

27 & 28 May

Pathways to past

A delight for all those interested in Cornish heritage, folklore and archaeology, Pathways to the Past is a programme of walks and talks in West Cornwall, organised by Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network. The weekend welcomes local experts John and Jill Moss, who will host a guided walk, archaeologists David Giddings, Paul Bonnington and Adrian Rodda, Cornish photographer James Kitto and local sculptor and antiquitarian Rory Te’Tigo.

Tickets for each event are £5, but free to members of Friends of Cornwall’s Ancient Sites (FOCAS).


6 & 27 May

Creative courses

St Ives School of Painting offer an inspirational selection of Creative Weekender courses, led by experienced tutors and held at the studios on St Ives Porthmeor Beach. There are two courses in May: Sea and Rocks (6 May), tutored by Ashley Hold, and Developing Drawing Skills (27 May), with Hilary Gibson. Ashley Hold will display techniques needed to compose fresh and lively studies in oils working directly from observation, while Hilary Gibson educates on tonal value, the power of the simple line and drawing from observation.

£165 pp including all materials

13 May

Art Auction

Some of Cornwall’s most notable artists have donated works to support Cornwall Hospice Care. Works by Nicola Bealing, Richard Cook, Anthony Frost, Tom Leaper, Paul Lewin, Maggie O’Brien and Vincent Wilson, amongst others, will go under the hammer at the Exchange, Penzance to raise funds for the charity.

£5 entry includes a glass of bubbly, canapés and live music from the Saxophone Quartet, Café Sax.

27 May-24 June

Hilary Mayo

View Hilary Mayo’s exhibition of contemporary ceramics inspired by her recent visit to Iceland at New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives. The collection of sculptural stoneware and porcelain vessels takes an impressionistic response to the island’s dramatic scenery. Expect contrasting surfaces, varying textures, austere horizons and a palette of blacks, greys, whites and blues.


29-30 May

Touring Opera

English Touring Opera will bring two productions to Hall for Cornwall: the company’s first ever Gilbert & Sullivan production, Patience, and Tosca, the opera debut of stage director Blanche McIntyre. Patience pokes fun at eccentric affections of barely-disguised Victorian celebrities, including Oscar Wilde and his followers, with plenty of tunes and humour. Tosca is a display of love in the midst of a war-torn Rome, brimming with lust, corruption and political intrigue.

01872 262466,