The summer is FINALLY here!! I feel like we wait an awfully long time in Cornwall to get our summer but when it's here Dam! Is it good! Good views, good temperatures, good vibes and good music! We live in an area that is patterned with a wide range of music especially in the summer. With local festivals like the Porthleven food festival, Tunes in the Dunes at Perranporth and places like Penzance and St. Just with their summer celebration festivals (Golowan and Lafrowda) that bring us local bands and talent. The big festivals like Board Masters which is becoming ever more popular and the Eden Sessions that bring in some BIG names including Mika, Bastille, Royal Blood, Blondie, Tom Jones, Muse, Calvin Harris, I could go on and on! This all gives us a chance to get in touch with some of our favourite artists right on our doorstep and explore new artists too. The point is whether it’s a big name or something new and local Cornwall is buzzing with a choice for music in the summer.
When it comes to celebrating the summer, there are a few towns that know how to do this right! Penzance is one of them with its Golowan festival. This lasts a week and is a build up to its main event on the Saturday weekend called Mazey Day. The day is filled with local schools, businesses and people coming together to celebrate summer with music, fireworks, processions, food and drink. Where ever you go in Penzance on Mazey day you're bound to find music, from events taking place in the gardens and parks to local schools including Humphry Davy who is well known locally for its music skills. The school has given us a few local bands in its time. Flats and Sharps being the most well-known band and can often be seen around the summer in Penzance at the Acorn Theatre or Union hotel bringing bluegrass and country music to liven up the town. This year they can be seen performing at the Honey Pot, found directly opposite the Acorn Theatre. Humphry Davy School always shines when Mazey Day arrives holding their place at the Sir Humphry Davy Statue in the heart of town they have people up on their feet enjoying the upbeat jazzy music the band has been working had on throughout the year.
If you're looking for a drink and a dance The Lugger Pub that looks out onto the prom and sea is in a prime location to listen to some relaxing live music in the daytime. At night you can see a crowd of people who flood to The Lugger to dance away to the local DJs. This year brought Tropical Pressure DJs including Countryman, Bobby soul and EL Nino who all brought a summer vibe for us to bounce away too, whilst overlooking the sunset on the prom. Even though the Golowan festival is now over the summer at the Lugger most definitely isn't'. With lots of music lined up for the rest of the summer, giving locals and tourists something to experience when sat in the sun at the front of the Lugger whilst eating or having a drink. This is definitely one of the places you'll want to be for a chilled out day in the sun, and where you most defiantly will find me this summer.
Penzance has always had music drawn to it. In 1971 Queen held one of their first Concerts in the Gardens of Penzance (opposite the Jubilee pool) just before releasing their first single. Three years later they returned to say thank you after becoming one of the biggest bands known in 1974 with their Queen II tour. Throughout the 60s and 70s, the venue in Penzance was one of Cornwall's best. Known as the Winter Gardens it hosted other massive names including Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and the Sex Pistols. The garden holds so much history for Penzance’s music scene.
Queen has always had a tie to Cornwall with talented drummer Rodger Taylor coming from Truro school, the band originally known as Smile returned to Truro in the late 70's as Queen to play in Truro City Hall, now known as the Hall for Cornwall for only 30p a ticket.
Over in St. Just you can see a similar festival take place called Lafrowda which is a celebration of local heritage and community arts, giving many local bands a chance to showcase what they have created. The festival again has events going on throughout the week with its main attraction on the saturday being Lafrowda Day. The small countryside town gives us two main stages set up in the center of town handing you a choice from DJs, rock bands, and indie bands. This year brings local DJ Keven GODDEN back to the biggest night on the local calendar (Lafrowda Eve) bringing big beats and a party vibe that will get you in the mood to celebrate Lafrowda Day. The festival also brings you lots to do and see including a lantern parade, food carts and plenty of games and activities to do for all family. It's like one massive summer BBQ for the whole community. I can't wait to stuff my face, have a drink in the sun and see what bands Lafrowda brings us this year.
Each festival and event has its own unique vibe and traditions from celebrating summer to hosting events and competitions for surfing. Board Masters has become so well know with big names like George Ezra, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Craig David and DJ Annie Mac jumping on the headlining list for the festival this year. The festival has gained plenty of recognition from big radio stations such as Pirate FM and BBC Radio 1 bringing in an audience of people from all over the UK. The festival has a mini Glastonbury style feel with a flare of Cornwall at the heart of it, with it’s unique and beautiful views and beaches. The festival is also well known for hosting official surfing competitions, as well as the three music stages on its grounds in Newquay. Boardmasters gives you a choice of a weekend camp out, exploring different stages and competitions, maybe do a bit of glamping if you're looking for the fun of the festival without the muddy and wet camping experience or just a day visit to check out one or two artists or even watch a bit of surfing. It's clear to see that Board Masters is quickly becoming more and more popular. If you’re a keen festival goer this should be a must on your summer festival list to visit.
The Eden sessions again give you a whole other platform to see an artist. Its intimate and beautiful outdoor staging area in the middle of the Eden Project is surrounded by tropical plants and beautiful statues and sculptures that make Eden so special. Seeing a live well-known band becomes magical and memorable. It's not your average arena or pavilion it's a one of a kind performance area that makes a combination of a beautiful summers evening, a few drinks with some friends or family and your favourite artists, just right. The atmosphere is ecstatic with the audiences so happy to have a chance to see some big names so close to where they live and for such a small price too, which in Cornwall as your probably well aware of is a rather rare thing. This year we saw Queens of the Stone Age perform their only UK show the rock band will play this summer apart from a headline appearance at Finsbury Park in London. The band has previously been named Best Live Band at the NME Awards making them the perfect and rare gem to catch live this summer at Eden.
Another big artist that graced the stage at the sessions this summer, bringing us relaxing, acoustic, beach vibes is Hawaiian singer/ songwriter Jack Johnson. This was his second time performing at Eden with both his first session selling out back in 2010 and now again in 2018. With his relaxing yet upbeat acoustic songs that almost everyone knows, I can see Jack Johnson as the perfect evening end to a day spent at the Eden Project.
My experience with the Eden sessions have been ecstatic, gripping and buzzing with the perfect summer vibes. It was the perfect place to see a first gig/ performance, there is something for anyone at any age with any taste. Its intimate yet natural surroundings make you feel so free and comfortable getting to experience your favorite artists live and not being stuck in a plain hall or arena. Every view you have is beautiful and inviting. When the sun sets behind the stage and the stage lights come up you almost get a feeling of an outdoor summer festival that you can just escape into for the night.
The Falmouth Princess Pavilions has been home to a selection of well-known artists over the years including the Kaiser Chiefs, Adam Ant and even Ed Sheeran both before and after he became a big name. This is the place to be seeing potential big names and known big names. The 600 capacity indoor concert hall is perfect for your traditional style concerts whilst maintaining a smaller more intimate number of people surrounding you. The pavilion hosts events with big names in Music and Comedy giving you a wide selection of entertainment right on your local doorstep. The hall is surrounded by a garden that overlooks the bay with a bar and restaurant on site giving you the chance to relax and take in some of Falmouth's beautiful scenes, it's hard to see why you would need to move. With upcoming events this summer including Reef, The Searchers, Scott Mathews and Gentleman's Dub Club there is plenty of selection for everyone.
It's not just the live music that makes Cornwall summers so special. Many local bands like Blue River create perfect Albums that just scream summer for you. We were all literally sat in the garden a few days ago with their newest album “Life Imitating Art” blaring out in the background as we tucked into our BBQ in the scorching sunshine. Bliss!! The perfect example of how summer music should make you feel.
Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches and views, some of which are so hidden and become perfect heat traps it makes you feel like you’ve travelled abroad. So if a festival or gig isn't your scene then kick back and enjoy Cornwall's actual scenes. (see what I did there). With local bands like Blue River pumping out summer style albums and radio stations including Pirate FM, Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio One who have all been hot on the summer tunes you can sit back and relax in Cornwall where ever you want. Radio One is giving us so many charts shows for the summer including, best offs and summer playlists with popular singers like 'George Ezra, who is topping the charts with summer songs and iconic EDM artists including The Chainsmokers, Testio, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Avichii and many more who are all kill it when it comes summer tunes and filling these playlists. We are seeing more and more of these artists collaborating with pop artists giving us a wide range of music that all have a hint of EDM and summer to it. Kygos collaboration with Selena Gomez for the song “It Aint Me” is a perfect representation to a collaboration creating EDM Pop music and a perfect summer vibe. Its songs like this that top the charts giving people plenty of summer tunes to dance away too, throw a BBQ, party or even just chill on the beach too. So, if festivals are not your thing or you want to get into the summer mood on your way to a festival, tune in and turn up the radio whether it's at one of our many beautiful and secluded beaches on a cliff, on the road or at a friend or family's BBQ, the radio stations are pumping out the summer tunes.
For me, Cornwall doesn't just give you the choice of music festivals that have big names. It gives you the chance to experience these artists in a unique environment and surrounding. It gives you the chance to visit places that are drenched in music history and gives you the chance to change the way you look at gigs and festivals, instead of your standard field or stadium. Cornwall gives you a chance to explore its beauty and its artists, by coming to a festival in Cornwall you get to explore new local artists and styles of music that you wouldn’t normally listen to or find at a generic gig/ festival in any city. Cornwall is about exploring and being unique and that’s exactly what you will get from any of our music platforms and any of the memories you take home.
Whether your planning on going to a festival or gig, celebrating summer with a few drinks and a BBQ or just hanging out with some friends on the beach there's a huge selection of summer music that will be here in Cornwall to liven your spirits and give out good vibes.
Bring on the BBQ’s, late nights, Sunburnt faces and hungover festival goers!!
Also, bring a Jacket and some wellies it will probably rain... it is Cornwall of course 😉
Skylar – Jay XoX