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The weather certainly didn’t disappoint at this years Boardmasters with crowds flocking to Cornwall’s beautiful north coast for a bit of the action. The five day event kick started on Wednesday 8th August at Fistral beach, where there was plenty on offer to keep you entertained throughout the day.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the lead up to Boardmasters two day music festival. With thrilling heats from the Men and Women’s surfing finals; that saw local legend Ben Skinner take 2nd place against some stiff competition in the final round of the men’s Davidoff Cool Water Longboard heat. Alongside all the action down at the waters edge there was a chance to put your own surfing skills to the test, and take on the flow rider for free in the Fistral trade village, check out some of the local trade stands and participate in or watch the open skate and BMX jams. These were taking place throughout the week, on the new street and mini ramp course that debuted this year in place of the traditional vert ramp. If a cold beverage was more your thing the beach bar was on hand to offer you just that! A great laid back atmosphere, comfy seating and artists such as Gary & The Minefield, October and Adam Issac playing throughout day to satisfy your ears.

Pop punk ska band Reel Big Fish gave a rip roaring performance at Wednesday night’s beach session and most definitely got the crowd pumping, ending the night on a complete high. While Thursday night’s line up reflected the more chilled out vibe that Boardmasters has to offer, with wonderful performances from Sam Beeton, Aruba Red and the ever well received Xavier Rudd. All overlooking Fistral Bay as the sun went down… It doesn’t get mellower than that.

Boardmasters certainly needs to be credited for its variety; the site of the festival itself is not humongous, which works to its advantage. All stages are a stones throw away from one another, so no missing your favourite band as you have to run the equivalent of a small marathon to get there before they start. Friday was day one of the Boardmasters two day music festival held at Watergate Bay. With so much to see and do there was something for everyone.
If you fancied partying on down throughout the day, the Desperados tent was definitely the place to be. Offering an array of great D.J sets and impressive freestyle beat boxing sessions, you couldn’t help wanting to bust out your best dance moves. A short walk across site and you arrived at “The View”, aptly named for it stunning outlook onto Watergate Bay. This was an area set aside for ultimate relaxation, kitted out with luxurious bean bags to sit back on and enjoy acts such as Emily & The Woods, whose gentle melodic voice washed over the crowd on this lazy sunny afternoon. If you fancied indulging a little bit more masseurs were dotted around to complete your ultimate relaxation experience.

Quirky refreshments stands were on hand, Jeremiah Weed served from the back of a 1950’s Studebaker pick up truck, surrounded with big old arm chairs to sip your ice cold refreshment from. Freshly cooked food was also available from Chinese to Mexican or a Hog Roast to Salad Bar, whatever your taste you were sure not to go hungry. One thing you didn’t find here were rows upon rows of commercial consumer stands, despite the event being in association with Vans you would not find a single pair of trainers or clothing on sale here. The key focus of this festival was kept solely on the music, the artists and keeping that laid back vibe going on throughout the weekend.

Gecko opened up the main stage and paved the way for the very talented Gabrielle Aplin, Donavon Franklin and the alternative pop duet the Ting Tings. Who gave an electric performance getting the crowd to sing along to well known hits such as “That’s not my name!”
It was Headliner Ed Sheeran that really captivated his audience that evening, entering on stage the roar of screaming fans filled the stadium, as he picked up his guitar and began to sing the audience fell silent, his gentle acoustic set drifted out across the bay as the last of the days sun set behind the clouds. “For those about to rock” the Vans tent offered a superb line up with Pulled Apart by Horses headlining Friday night and Californian pop punk band Set Your Goals as the headlining act on Saturday, and boy did they rock! However it was Saturday nights main stage act Dizzee Rascal that sent the crowd absolutely “Bonkers” for what was a finale and a half ending Boardmasters off with a bang.

Words & photos: Emily Whelan

Check out the footage from the Surf & Beach Sessions venue – Fistral Beach

Footage from the music side of the festival