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On Thursday the 20th of June, Newquay rolled out the welcome mat as the Beach Break Live Festival returned triumphantly home to Cornwall. With the main stage taking pride of place on Fistral Beach and 15 of Newquay’s premier pubs, clubs and activity hubs, golden wrist-band wearers also accessed the ‘Pastures of Pleasure’ at Trevelgue Campsite where there were a variety of extra stands and two music arenas.

The sun was shining and power kites were flying as the burdens of exam revision ebbed away with the tide at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, where a variety of wholesome beach activities were being enjoyed. Surfing, Kitesurfing, abseiling and horse-riding were on offer for the adventurous as well as Frisbee, street and belly dancing and a belly flopping contest on the beach and at the Lagoon. Meanwhile back at Trevelgue giddy anticipation radiated from day-glow sunglasses as a steady stream of excited students filled up the pastures.

With the sun out and sand between the toes, Fistral was the place to be as the sounds began to flow from the Main Stage. Duke really set the tone with an acoustic guitar accompanied by an impressive and dynamic vocal repertoire of incredible technical beatboxing, perfectly harmonised singing and all manner of mouth-made bleeps, tweets and shrieks.

The inspired crowd quickly became a raucous one when The Cuban Brothers blew up the beach with their cheeky all singing, all dancing crazy Cuban personas featuring breakdancing, chick charming, nudity and a serious summer feel good factor.

As a mature bboy seeking music, I simply had to check in at Rewind (Fistral Beach Bar) for DJ Format preceded by the Scratch Perverts. The Perverts were on form destroying the decks with their own brand of athletic beat juggling and mixing mayhem to the point that poor DJ Format was left with just one operational turntable for the first part of his scratch set. Format still rocked the joint as the weather began to take a turn for the worse.

Faced with windy showers and the classic festival-goer’s ‘what to see’ dilemma, many opted for some of the indoors venues around the Campsite and Town. London based brass rap band Lazy Habits rocked a steadily building crowd on the main stage with quirky numbers such as ‘Even Out’ before Alunageorge smoothed the groove with her seductive style.

Jake Bugg casually stepped in and was sounding great on the main stage as he delivered his tortured tales to a mass of youth. There were plenty of girls on shoulders and jumping gents for all his modern classics, particularly for ‘two fingers’, the boy is a class act.

By now Beach Break Live was in full swing and despite the rain, spirits were high on the way back to town for the evening. All of the venues were harbouring intimate scenes that represented all genres of dance music. The main exception here was Shy FX who enjoyed playing to a crammed quaking crowd who were locked into a serious Drum n Bass pit below bulging balconies of blissful boppers.


Denim hot-pant clad, neon adorned welly wearers and guys in singlets, shorts and flip flops were all lured out early by the return of that big fiery ball in the sky. The Town was alive all day with Emerging Icons and Home-grown talent. Londoner, Olos was seamlessly switching styles from metal to hip-hop and Emily & the Woods winded down the weekend with soothing sounds and locally made chocolates. Meanwhile, Samba Celtic were marching in full carnival swing demonstrating their intricate percussive rhythms and spreading smiles through the streets. Will and the people were instantly lovable at the Pastures and Hong Kong Ping Pong at the Beach Bar led onto the Nextmen who brought it back to intelligent turntablism for an intimate engaged crowd as the sun set majestically on a fabulous weekend.

Review: Thomas Houghton
Photos: Amy Skinner