What's On in Cornwall, August 2022

A crowd cheers and parties as a band play

Fun in the sun at Boardmasters at Watergate Bay - Credit: Felix Northover

We reveal all the amazing things happening in Cornwall this month and beyond. 


1. Boardmasters

This is just what summer was invented for – five days of great music and a festival of surfing set against the spectacular backdrop of the North Cornwall Coast. Boardmaste rs is back on top form with a musical line - up that includes Kings of Leon, making their long - awaited Boardmasters debut, George Ezra and Disclosure all performing at Watergate Bay.

Meanwhile, on Fistral Beach, the Boardmasters Open will play host to the bi ggest names in pro surfing as they take to the waves to battle it out for the coveted Boardmasters top spots across five exhilarating days. Competitions include the Boardmasters Junior Open.

Kings of Leon will be headlining Boardmasters Main Stage as the s un sets across Watergate Bay on Sunday August 14 . Their eighth album When You See Yourself , released last year continued a run of six consecutive albums to debut at number one in the UK. The multi - Grammy and Brit Award winning group will be performing songs from all of their albums. Boardmasters is their first UK festival show since 2018.

George Ezra makes a triumphant return to Watergate Bay, headlining on the Friday night. The multi - platinum singer songwriter wi ll bring his upbeat hits to the Main Stage, rousing the crowds with infectious choruses from his number one singles, Shotgun and Paradise , as well as soulful and moving sounds like Hold My Girl.

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Grammy - nominated dance duo Disclosure – also making a Boardmasters debut - taking the coveted Saturday Main Stage headline slot. Cornwall is a date on their huge European headline tour to mark the recent release of EP Never Enough.

Other acts playing their part in the Boardmasters experience include Brit alt - rock four - piece Bastille , lighting up the Main Stage with euphoric hits such as Pompeii and Good Grief . You can also catch singer songwriter and indie icon Declan McKenna , Freya Ridings, Bristol - born band Idles , Brit - nominated soul singer Joy Crookes , TikTok se nsation and Eurovision hero Sam Ryder plus Tom Grennan.

As well as watching the music and surfing, festival goers can get involved. Surf and Adventure packages cater for all abilities, with lessons available from Thursday to Sunday delivered by expert instructors from established local surf schools. Or try an adventure package including coasteering, kayaking, stand - up paddle boarding and snorkel SUP safari, perfect for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

Information on all these activities and how to book can be found online. The festival may attract thousands of visitors to Cornwall’s coast but organisers work hard to minimise the impact on the environment. They have worked with charity SAS since 2001 with the aim of improving sustainability including becoming plastic - free. Visitors who return a bag of rubbish when they leave get a rebate on their ticket.

Boardmasters is August 10 - 14. Visit boardmasters.com for more information.

The beach stretches away from the camera with festival tents and visitors on the sand

The Cornish coast is home to the sustainable BoardmastersFestival - Credit: Mo Samuals

2. Tunes in the Park

The picturesque grounds of the Port Eliot Estate in St Germans will host a weekend of live m usic over the August Bank Holiday with performances from hitmakers Madness and Elbow. Tunes in the Park is a brand new event from the team behind Tunes in the Dunes at Perranporth Beach in June (with Shaggy and Paul Weller) and Tunes on the Sand s at Blackp ool Sands, Devon, in July with the Sugarhill Gang and Boney M. The Port Eliot gigs kicked off in grand style with Sir Tom Jones in June.

Madness first got together in Camden, London, in 1976. In the near half century since they have churned out lots of hit s – One Step Beyond, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love, Our House and Wings of a Dove. Their songs were the soundtrack for a musical, Our House , and in 2000 they received an Ivor Novello Award for their body of work. With frontman Suggs they headline on August 27.

The following night it’s the turn of relative newcomers – Elbow formed in Manchester in 1997. With Guy Garvey on lead vocals they have produced nine studio albums starting with Mercury - nominated Asleep in the Back in 2001. They won a Brit Award in 2009 as Best British Group. Expect a great set of songs including hits such as the anthemic One Day Like This , Mirrorball and Magnificent (She Says).

Tickets are available for each night, or both nights, with or without camping. For information go to tunesinthepark.com.

3. Cornwall Folk Festival

This popular event returns to full strength with music in Wadebridge Town Hall, the Betjeman Centre and on the streets over t he Bank Holiday Weekend.

On the main indoor stages will be 12 top folk acts, the Far Stage hosts over 25 hours of music from Cornwall, the Westcountry and beyond and m ore than 40 bands, shanty singers, choirs and dance troupes will bring free live music and dance to the town centre.

Performers include songwriter Dougie MacLean (August 27) whose songs have been covered by acts such as Paolo Nutini, Amy MacDonald and Ronan Keating and include the anthemic Caledonia.

Brenda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow (August 26) were described by music magazine MOJO as ‘ one of British folk music’s mightiest combinations.’ Viewers of Gentleman Jack will recognise their work as the song that plays over the final credits.

Cornwall Folk Festival is August 26 - 29.  For information and tickets go to cornwallfolkfestival.com.

O’Hooley and Tidow stand in front of a metal wall that is blue and rusty

O’Hooley and Tidow will perform at Cornwall Folk Festival - Credit: Hannah Webster

4. Great British Fete

Enjoy the traditional delights of an old - fashioned summer fete at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park this summer. Expect a bouncy castle, circus workshops, Punch and Judy Show, fire eating performances ( on Saturday) and pig racing (Sunday). Why not take your dog along and enter them in the fun charity dog show?

Organised by Miss Ivy Events, there will be lots to see and do including artisan stalls, food and drink (including a Pimms Bar) and entertainment with performances and gr eat live music from local band Girl Friday and the Cornwall Rock Choir.

The Great British Summer Fete takes place on August 20 and 21 at the bottom of the park near the Orangery at Mount Edgcumbe in Cremyll, near Torpoint and close to the River Tamar.

Entry is £5, under 12s go free and parking is included in the ticket price. For tickets and information go to missivyevents.co.uk.


1. Little Women

Based on Louisa May Alcott's life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested – her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

The story of the March sisters, aspiring writer Jo, traditional Meg, ambitious Amy and sweet - natured Beth has enchanted generations . This musical version has lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, music by Jason Howland and book by Allan Knee. It opened on Broadway in 2005 but was not staged in the UK until 2018.

Little Women is performed by the British Theatre Academy which encourages and supports young performers.

It’s at the Minack Theatre August 1 - 5. Book online at Minack.com.

A man and woman are lit in front of a black background

Morcheeba headline Live at Scorrier - Credit: Michelle Hayward


1. Live at Scorrier House

This 18 th century country house is set in 400 acres of private parkland and historic gardens with winding paths, wild meadows, maintained borders, flowering urns and radiant vistas. It is, perhaps, the unexpected setting for a one - day festival featuring some of the UK’s most celebrated, alternative electronic artists. Expect surprise DJ sets from very special guests and live performances and beats from the mighty Groove Armada and super chilled pioneers of Trip Hop Morcheeba . Although it is a one - day festival, there is overnight camping for the event which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Since debuting in 1997, Groove Armada ( Tom Findlay and Andy Cato ) have proven to be one of the most influential forces in dance music. They’ve proved that it’s po ssible to bravely explore a multitude of sounds while achieving critical and commercial success. It’s a trait that’s apparent w ithin a selection of their best - loved songs. From the dancehall dub of Superstylin to the crossover pop of Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) the dancefloor - igniting I See You Baby and the sunset vibes of At The River , Groove Armada have consistently and uncompromisingly followed their own vision.

The duo have achieved three UK Top 10 albums , three Grammy nominations , a Brit nomination and a succession of hit singles that are still being discovered by new fans to this day. Despite having formed a quarter-of-a-century before streaming exploded, they still command the attention of almost two million monthly listeners at Spotify. They’ve al so collaborated with or remixed countless high - profile artists, notably Madonna, Paul Simon, Fatboy Slim, Calvin Harris, Neneh Cherry and Bryan Ferry.

Morcheeba’s global reach takes them to every corner of the world. Their signature chilled electronic/org anic sound has been border - hopping ever since the London - based band emerged in 1996 with their debut album Who Can You Trust? pioneering the sound of Trip Hop and going g lobal in 19 98 with their definitive album Big Calm which saw the band featured on the cover of The Times and their unassuming singer Skye Edwards become a female icon as her luxurious vocals graced the stereos of every home, club and car in the UK and beyond.

Their current album Blackest Blue is the band's 10th studio album and delves into the soul of their genre - mashing musical heritage. Joining the line - up are award - winning Drum N Bass act Dr Meaker and contemporary brass beats band Tuba Libres with DJ sets to be announced.

Live at Scorrier House is on August 27. For information go to liveatscorrierhouse.co.uk

Two women dressed as ABBA sing and dance

Tribute band 21st Century Abba head for Cornwall - Credit: Richard Hall

2. 21st Century Abba

For more than 20 years, Chapterhouse Theatre has spent the summer touring outdoor venues – including many in Cornwall - with their productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Having then branched out to perform works by other writers, Chapterhouse are now opening a new chapter with music tribute acts.

Their open air show, 21st Century Abba, is at Pencarrow House near Bodmin on August 18 . Gates open at 6pm and you can bring a picnic to enjoy before the show starts at 7.30pm. Bring blankets or low - backed chairs to sit on.

Listen to all the Abba hits including Waterloo, Mamma Mia, Take a Chance on Me and Super Trouper faithfully recreated with fantastic 70s costumes – the audience are invited to dress up too with prizes for the best - dressed parties.

Book tickets online at chapterhouse.org to say Thank You for the Music


1. Shackleton

An extraordinary collection of photographs is on display at the Shipwreck Museum in Charlestown . Shackleton’s Legacy and the Power of Early Antarctic Photography from the Royal Geographical Society showcases the work of Frank Hurley, official photographer for the Imperial Trans - Antarctic Expedition between 1914 and 1917 which attempted to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic.

Lead by the charismatic explorer Ernest Shackleton, the expedition ship Endurance became trapped in the ice pack on the Weddell Sea and the crew could only watch as the crushed vessel sank into the deep. Shackleton carried out an extraordinary mission, brilliantly navigating his way across the ice before setting off for dry land at the uninhabited Elephant Island. He left some of the men t here and rowed with a small crew the 800 miles to South Georgia Island and rescue.

It was a real tale of courage and determination. Little wonder that Shackleton came 11th in a poll of Great Britons carried out by the BBC in 2002. The discovery of the sunken remains of Endurance in March this year has piqued interest in this amazing story.

The Shipwreck Museum sets the scene, retelling the extraordinary adventure using their atmospheric underground tunnels. The expedition of photos is from the glass plates Frank Hurley managed to rescue from the sinking ship and transport back to safety – no mean feat in itself. Admission includes the museum’s regular treasure trove of discoveries.

The exhibition ends on October 30. For details go to shipwreckcharlestown.co.uk.

 Frank Hurley captures dogs and men on the ice, with Endurance behind

Frank Hurley captures dogs and men on the ice, with Endurance behind - Credit: Royal Geographical Society

2. Voices of the Lost Gardens

A new immersive educational and entertaining experience, Voices of The Lost Gardens, will enhance a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Plants and creatures at the gardens near Mevagissey will each be given a different character throughout the seasons to promote further understanding and offer a different perspective on their environment. Voices are supplied by experts and celebrities including Dame Judi Dench and TV presenters Jimmy Doherty, Adam Henson and Hannah Stitfall.

Visitors are invited to step into a shepherd hut situated in the Lost Valley. Once inside, they are to take a seat, shut the curtains, get comfy and listen to the voices from The Lost Gardens. These brief ‘conversations’ are designed to offer a new perspective on wildlife . Each plant and animal is asked: If you had a message for us, what would it be?

Jimmy Doherty, who presents Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast with childhood friend Jamie Oliver, provides the voice of the Buff - Tailed Bumblebee, rare breed farmer and TV presenter Ada m Henson champions the cause of the North Devon Bullock. From September 5 Jimmy talks about the Berkshire Pig and BBC wildlife presenter Hannah Stitfall reveals the secrets of the hedgehog.

Dame Judi Dench, who made a documentary about her passion for tree s, joins the line - up for the winter as the Oak Tree. Her partner David Mills, founder of the British Wildlife Centre, provides a voice for the Red Squirrel in the spring next year.

For information go to Heligan.com.

Dame Judi Dench and partner David Mills sat on a wooden bench in a garden

Dame Judi Dench and partner David Mills at Heligan - Credit: The Lost Gardens of Heligan

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