Boardmasters, the UK’s biggest international surf and music festival. Taking place over five days, the festival sees over 80,000 unique visitors attend either one or both festival sites. 240,000 visitor days in Cornwall are generated across this time period.

Winner of Festival of the Year in the South-West Tourism Awards, the event generates over £44 million for the local economy. This year with Five Day Camping tickets sold out and more festivalgoers expected to arrive on Wednesday than previous years and additional spend over £1 million locally is expected.

A plethora of Cornish businesses work with the festival, including One Wave Newquay, Kernow Springs, Cornish Orchards and local booking agents SW1 Productions who book musical talent for the festival. In addition, over 150 people have booked in for surf, SUP and kayaking lessons as part of a collaboration between Boardmasters and five local surf schools including Fistral Surf School, Escape Surf School, Blue Surf School, Extreme Acadamy and Newquay Activity Centre.

As a highly environmentally focussed festival, Boardmasters encourages all festivalgoers to travel by train, coach or car share. However, heavier traffic is to be expected on Wednesday 7 August with peak arrival time expected 10am-2pm. Last year, more than 200,000 single-use cups were saved from entering the waste stream, almost 16,000 bags of rubbish collected by festivalgoers thanks to Litter Bonds and more than 100,000 single-use plastic bottles saved due to promotion of reusable bottles and increased number of water points.

For this sustainable effort, Boardmasters took home two esteemed awards in the Cornwall Sustainability Awards 2018 including overall winner. In addition to their environmental work and economic impact, the Boardmasters Foundation raised over £53,000 for local causes with beneficiaries including long term partners Surfers Against Sewage, Cornwall Youth Theatre Company, The Wave Project and Newquay Dementia Singing Club. 

The festival will once again be raising funds throughout the 2019 festival, with recipients announced after the festival. As with all major events and with a sell-out show on the horizon, traffic will be busy and queues are expected. Organisers ask local residents to avoid all non-essential journeys on Wednesday 7 August and Monday 12 August. The Watergate Road closure will take place each day on Wednesday 7 –  Sunday 11 August between 4pm and 3am

Will Hatfield, co-owner of the Carnmarth Hotel on Headland Road, said: “Boardmasters is an absolutely phenomenal week for our family business and has been for years. As a hotel, bar and restaurant we’re busy right throughout the summer season, however the impact of the increase on yield is significant as a result of the ‘Boardmasters effect.’

In this one week alone, our yield is at least a couple of hundred per cent higher than the other weeks of July and August and we benefit from the much higher demand for rooms right across Newquay and its surrounds. Every year we have to increase our staff numbers and shifts significantly which is brilliant for all of the team, and suppliers, and it’s a great atmosphere for everyone working, staying and hanging out here at the Carnmarth.” Will continued: “But it’s not just the benefit of this week alone.

Throughout the year, the Vision Nine team, the organisers of Boardmasters, are down in Newquay regularly for planning meetings with all involved in the surf and music events and with sponsors, partners and contractors. And they will often stay here, as will those they are meeting with.  So we benefit year round by being an ongoing supplier to them as a business, as well as benefiting from the phenomenal customer footfall and trade.  It’s been great for our business to see the event grow, and to see customers come back year-on-year, both during Boardmasters, and then again on holiday or mini breaks as a result of what they have discovered here in Newquay as a destination.”

Rob Barber, founder and owner of Newquay Activity Centre, said: “We’re absolutely through the roof busy this week.  So many people come down to Boardmasters and see the surfers out there and decide they want to give it a go. Or they get out on our super Stand Up Paddleboards, go kayaking or join one of our coasteering trips and just have the best time.  It’s often the case that people then come back time and time again to continue to learn to surf and make the most of the coastal lifestyle that we all have here which is great for our business.”

CEO, Andrew Topham, said: “We’re beyond thrilled to be bringing another sold out Boardmasters and some of the world’s biggest artists to Newquay. We’re grateful to all local residents for their understanding during busier times on the roads and for supporting us all year round in bringing a major event to Cornwall. We hope to see as many residents as possible at both Fistral Beach to enjoy the surf competitions as well as up at Watergate Bay for the music.” 



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